Fragrant, deep fried honey puffs flavored with sesame, cinnamon, and honey. Make these traditional Greek loukoumades for your next special event. They will bring down the house!
In a mixing bowl, proof your yeast. Add two packets of yeast to one cup of lukewarm water (generally around 100 degree Fahrenheit). Stir with a fork for a minute or two to dissolve the yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes.
In a separate bowl, add 3 1/2 cups of sifted flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of salt. Stir to combine.
Add your dry ingredients to your wet slowly, a little bit at a time, while continuing to whisk. Slowly add in one cup lukewarm milk. Your batter should resemble a pancake mix. Also, it should start to bubble.
Note: If you don't see any little bubbles forming, and your dough doesn't start to rise -- Start Over! That means that your yeast was not active.
Cover the bowl with saran wrap and a couple of clean, dry kitchen towels. Set aside in a cool place on your counter and wait for the dough to rise.
In about 3 hours, check your dough. It should have doubled in size. Give it a good stir. Is it too thick? Add a quarter cup of water and stir again. The mixture shouldn't be runny -- nor should it be so thick that you can't get your spoon through it.
In a sauce pan add 1 cup of honey and 1 cup of water. Heat on low.
In another small saucepan, add sesame seeds and toast on medium low heat until golden brown. Remove and pulse in a coffee grinder or food processor a few times until it resembles sand. Place in a small bowl.
In a large dutch oven, heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees. Your oil needs to be hot enough to get the loukoumades to puff up. Use a candy thermometer to test for readiness. Alternately, place a small amount of dough in the oil. If the oil starts to bubble, and your dough starts to puff, it's hot!
Slowly, place a spoonful of dough into the oil. It'll plop to the bottom and rise up, in a puffed ball shape.Keep adding spoonfuls of dough until the entire top of the surface of the oil is covered.
Use a metal skimmer to flip your loukoumades so they evenly brown on both sides.Prepare a platter with several layers of paper towels. Transfer the loukoumades to the platter. Ladle spoonfuls of warm honey on to each bite and sprinkle with cinnamon and sesame.
Continue until you've cooked all of your dough.Lastly, ladle the remaining honey and sesame over the entire platter and sprinkle a little more cinnamon.
Warm in the oven or serve immediately. Loukoumades will keep in the refrigerator for several days.