Silvester means New Years Eve - Krapfen are deep fried yeast dough buns. Think donut without holes! Don't ask me since when and why there has to be something like this at New Years Eve in Germany. The legend says this special ball shaped dumplings - filled with jam, where invented by a baker during the year 1756. He baked cannon ball shaped dough dumplings to praise the military (where he served as baker for the troops during seventh year's war) and his king Frederic the Great. But deep fried or baked yeast dough dumplings/buns where known since ancient times, maybe not cannon ball shaped, but as festive food. Krapfen is just something you can eat easy and it is filling. Most of the time people will have a party and therfor lots of snacks & booze or decent dinners until midnight. There are always games and fortune telling involved. Some Krapfen are filled with hot mustard as a "bad" joke (you don't know what you will get...).You can buy Krapfen in each and every bakery all around the year but not in this big amounts as today. Krapfen are decorated with icing sugar, colourful sugar glaze and chocolate glaze. They are filled with jam: Strawberry, raspberry and plum jams are the most common fillings or a custard cream with advocaat. Some are additonally decorated with little items - symbols for luck: Piggies, four leaved clovers, chimney sweepers.
It is quite easy to make Silvester Krapfen. All you need is yeast dough, a wok, oil and jam and a piping bag with a flute sized nozzle.
Why a nozzle? How to place jam into the ball?
|Inside the Krapfen|
For yeast dough:
250 g flour (allpurpose)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar (sugar with ground vanilla pod)
1 good pinch salt
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon soft butter
120 ml milk (lukewarm)
1/2 cube fresh yeast of 1/2 bag instant yeast
1/2 jar jam (smooth without fruit pieces or seeds not too runny; strawberry, raspberry prefered)
Oil for Frying
Crumble fresh yeast into milk and stir together with the sugar. Add everything into your kitchen machine bowl and let beat for 10 minutes on medium speed. Wether to use a kitchen machine or beat and knead by hand is up to you. The more beating the more fluffy the structure of the buns will get and the dough will rise much quicker. After resting up to 45 minutes, covered, at a warm place, the dough should be soft and elastic and rised to its double size. Punch down and form a long roll but don't knead - just stretch and roll it on a lightly floured baking board. Cut the roll in 12 slices and form each slice into a small ball shaped like a small satsuma.
Let rise again for 25 minutes (covered with a damp kitchen towel)
Heat enough oil in a wok (the dough balls have to swim easily) up to 170 degree Celsius. Don't overheat. Fry 4 balls about 3 minutes (depends) until golden browned on one side, turn the balls and fry the other side too until golden brown. When ready let the buns rest on a wired rack. Fry the next 4.
Fill jam into a piping bag. I heated cherry jam up in a small pot and purreed it with a blender. The jam gets somewhat thicker which is better for filling.
Stick the nozzle into the bun and squeeze in the jam until it leaks out of the bun.
Fill all the other buns. Afterwards dust with icing sugar.