Gluten-free Greek Honey Puffs / Dumpling Doughnut Bites (Loukoumades/ Λουκουμάδες)
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'Loukoumades'! Also known as Greek honey dumplings/ honey puffs or mini doughnut bites!
Growing up, my mother would make a HUGEE batch of these when we were kids, and I have memories eating a whole bowl full for dinner drizzled with Greek honey and a good dusting of cinnamon!
It was about time I made these GF as it's been too long. They’re an indulgent treat, but I find it so comforting to make during the Autumn and Winter months️.
They are crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy inside. You can usually find them in Greek sweet bakeries called a ‘zaxaroplasteio’, where they usually soak them in an orange blossom syrup which is also very good, I just love mine with Greek honey of course🥰
For the loukoumades:
250g gluten-free self raising flour
50g corn starch
2 Tbsp psillium husk
1 tsp sea salt
250g warm water
9g active yeast
1 Tbsp Greek honey, (sub granulated sugar for vegan)
500ml neutral vegetable oil, for frying (like canola, rapeseed or avocado oils are neutral tasting with a high smoke point)
For the syrup:
100g coconut sugar (or granulated sugar)
100g Greek honey (sub more coconut or granulated sugar for vegan)
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
2-3 whole cloves (optional)
Orange blossom essence, to taste (optional)
Start by making the syrup so it's ready to add to the loukoumades.
In a saucepan, add the sugar, honey, water and spices and bring to the boil then lower and simmer for 10 minutes. Take care not to burn then remove from heat to cool.
In a medium bowl, mix together the yeast, honey (or sugar) and 250g warm water (no hotter than 38ºC/100ºF or else it will kill the yeast). Set aside for 10 minutes, until the mixture starts to froth.
In a large bowl, add the flour, corn starch, Psyllium husk and salt and mix to combine.
Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the yeast mixture. Whisk until it becomes a very soft dough, neither thick nor thin.
Cover the bowl with a damp cloth, cellophane or shower cap and leave the dough for 30 minutes to rise.
When ready, pour enough vegetable oil into a deep frying pan or wok, and heat to 160ºC for deep frying the loukoumades. (If you don't have a thermometer, you can check the oil is hot enough by dropping a tiny amount of dough in the oil, if it sizzles immediately then the oil is ready.)
Before you fry, prepare a glass of water with a teaspoon in it and a large plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil from the loukoumades.
The traditional way is to dampen your hands and take a handful dough, close your palm and squeeze it out from the top (between your thumb and index finger), and using a wet teaspoon to scoop the dough and drop it in the oil. (It helps to have a glass of water near to keep the spoon wet so the dough will not stick to it and slide easily into the oil. Dip the spoon into the glass of water after each scoop.) If you don't want to handle the dough, you can just use the wet spoon, (but be careful not to drop water into hot oil as this can splash hot oil and cause injury).
Fry until golden, 8-10 spoonfuls at a time (to not overcrowd the pan). Use a slotted spoon to turn them so they are golden brown all over.
When done, remove the loukoumades with the slotted spoon and place onto a large plate with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
Repeat this process until all the dough is finished.
Warm up the syrup again over medium heat and drop the loukoumades inside to coat and soak it up.
When done, place these delicious Greek golden dumplings on a large platter ready for serving, drizzle with extra Greek honey, a sprinkling of cinnamon and chopped walnuts (optional).
Serve straight away.
You can omit the syrup entirely and have them plain with a drizzle of honey, maple syrup, agave or melted chocolate instead!
These honey puffs are best eaten on the day of frying, at maximum, the day after and microwaved for 15-20 seconds to soften. Left any longer and they will dry out.
SERVE THIS WITH.
A drizzle of Greek honey
A sprinkle of Ceylon cinnamon
A drizzle of melted dark chocolate
Psyllium husk - supports regular digestion by acting as a prebiotic in the gut, feeding the good bacteria in the microbiome. (Source)
Greek honey - is nutritionally dense and filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. (Source)
Ceylon (True) cinnamon - is loaded with powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. (Source)
Walnuts - rich source of monounsaturated fats, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E and a good source of Manganese, Copper, Molybdenum and the B vitamin Biotin. (Source)
HAVE YOU MADE THIS?
Many of my recipes call for Greek products like Greek extra virgin olive oil, Greek honey or Greek oregano. It is not mandatory for it to be Greek in order to make the recipe, you are more than welcome to use a good quality alternative; just keep in mind if you are after the authentic flavours of Greece these details do make all the difference in Greek cuisine. You can shop these ingredients here.
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Disclaimer: None of the health benefits listed are intended to diagnose or treat any pre-existing health conditions. Always consult a health care practitioner before making any health decisions. The benefits listed are from my own research and personal interest, and encourage you to follow the Source and do further research.