In Bavaria and Austria, donuts are traditionally served at Pentecost. So that you can easily prepare them yourself, we have a simple donut recipe for you.
Where does the Whitsun donut come from?
Donuts are not only served at carnival. In Bavaria and Austria, the Pfingstkrapfen, also known as Heilig-Geist-Krapfen, are traditionally served on the days of Whitsun. The fried pastry is known for its unusual shape. By wrapping the dough, the donuts are reminiscent of a dove, which has always been considered a symbol of the Holy Spirit in Christianity.
The beginnings of the Pfingstkrapfen go back far into the past centuries. At that time, the pastries were baked by the parish and given out to the parishioners through the church hatch on Pentecost days. It was not until the 18th century that the donuts were banned. To this day, however, there are many bakers in Austria and Bavaria who continue the Whitsun custom of baking donuts.
With the right ingredients and a few tricks, you can make the donuts yourself at home. Traditionally, the pastry, which is often served with coffee, is fried in fat and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Basic recipe for Pentecost donuts
If you want to make donuts yourself, you only need a few basic ingredients:
- 600 grams of flour
- A pinch of salt
- A teaspoon of anise
- 250 ml sweet or sour cream
- Seven yolks
- An egg
This is how you succeed in the perfect preparation of the sweet Whitsun treat
First you beat the egg yolk and the egg together with the cream to create a bound mass. In a large enough bowl, mix the 600 grams of flour with a pinch of salt and the anise. Now add the egg-cream mixture and mix everything with a wooden spoon. Now knead the ingredients into a smooth dough. If the dough is too crumbly, for example because the eggs were too small, add a little cream.
When all the ingredients have combined and it is nice and supple, shape the dough into a roll and let it rest for about 30 minutes. The ingredients can relax again and the dough changes its consistency.
After the resting time, cut about one centimeter thick slices from the roll. Spread a little flour on your work surface and the dough wheel. First flatten the dough with your fingers and then roll it out wafer-thin with the rolling pin. The dough sheet shouldn’t be much thicker than a sheet of paper.
Form Whitsun donuts and bake properly
The most striking feature of the Heilig-Geist-Krapfen is the special shape of a rosette, which is intended to resemble the silhouette of a dove. The donuts get their shape when they fry in hot fat. Traditional kitchen tips recommend frying in clarified butter. Alternatively, you can opt for oil. It is best to use a neutral sunflower oil here. Canola oil develops a strong, fish-like odor when heated.
Drop each donut individually into the hot fat. Use a wooden spoon to fix the center of the donut and use a second one to form the edge into a rosette, always overlapping the edge slightly. In order for the donut to keep its shape, you have to hold it in the middle until it is flipped. The Heilig-Geist-Krapfen only need to be fried in fat for a short time because they are very thin.
When removing the donuts, let them drain briefly and then place them on a plate. Finally, sprinkle the donuts with powdered sugar. You can eat the luggage while it is still warm, but they also taste delicious cold.