This is traditional carnival pastry in Croatia. The origin is of course Austrian. The name “krafne” comes from Mrs. Cecilia Krapf a.k.a. Cilly who worked for Emperor in his Court as pastry cook. The story is that she uncovered the recipe to the street pastry makers so the cake spread all over the Empire (and that is how we get it). The best “krafne” to buy in Croatia is in town Samobor in the vicinity of Zagreb. The ladies who work there have a secret recipe and I must admit the “krafne” there are really the best I have ever tasted.
- Take a large pot (glass pot for salad or similar) and put in it flour, sugar, slightly melted butter, salt, rum and slightly warm milk (25-30°C) and mix well using mixer or dough-machine.
- The dough must be smooth and “shiny”. Cover the dough with warm kitchen towel and leave it grow for 40-50 minutes (it must double in size).
- Knead the dough again and cut into two parts. One part cover with kitchen towel again and thin the second part into 2 cm thick dough. Use mould for “krafne” or normal glass 6 cm. in diameter. Cut round pieces. Do this until there is no more dough (re-knead and do it again).
- Now, knead the second part of the dough and do the same thing (with glass). Let it grow for more 20 minutes.
- Take a large pot, pour 1 liter of oil and heat to 80-100°C Fry several krafne in oil; first covered (not more than 1 minute or until brownish) on one side, and than uncovered1 minute on the other side (them must not touch each other). They must have white ring (we call it in Zagreb: “ramftl”).
- When they are done, take them out of oil with hollow spoon and put onto paper towel to drain surplus of oil. Using cooking syringe put jam into each “krafn”. Spread grounded sugar over and serve. They are very good when they are warm, but not too warm.