"Lángos", the ultimate Hungarian street food

Lángos

Though it’s Easter today, no eggs nor any traditional celebration food today ! I know it’s quite irrelevant from a foodblogger and apologize for it, but today happened to be the last day to take part to a contest about street food organised by a french portal website. Being a huge street food lover, as I often find it more interesting than fine food, I didn’t want to miss this occasion in spite of my busy schedule.

I could have introduced you a Chinese street food recipe (which I’m the most interested in), but I would have felt somewhat phony in doing so, and preferred to devote this post to a street food that calls forth my childhood memories and is the main street food item one can find in Hungary. Lángos (pronounce lan-gosh) is a savoury flatbread-like doughnut, made out of bread dough shaped in the form of pancakes and deep-fried. It is served almost piping hot, either without any topping except salt, which is the one I prefer, either with various toppings like crushed garlic, which my family sometimes used, sour cream (a typical ingredient of Eastern European cuisine) and grated cheese and bacon, a version I’m not very enticed to but actually better known in foreign countries.

These doughnuts remind me of hot summer days spent at the open-air swimming pool, when we bought lángos at the stand on the poolside when getting munchies from bathing and playing around. And we didn’t have any trouble to eat them though the surrounding 100°F ! It is yet less shameful to eat fried foods with a chilly wheather, so I think this time of the year, where the few sunbeams hardly do warm up the atmosphere, is more appropriate to enjoy them. Plus, I missed doing dougnuts or fritters on Mardi Gras this year, so I’m catching up for it now ! Anyway, lángos are also part of Hungarian home cooking, at least in my family ; it made for a great snack that everybody at home would fight over. Hopefully, my grandma was kind enough to teach me her recipe, this very one I’m happy to share with you today !

Lángos

Ingrédients (yiels 4-5 lángos, which serve 3 to 5) :

  • 100 ml lukewarm milk
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 20g fresh yeast
  • 150 ml lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 300g flour, plus for dusting
  • frying oil (note that if it is an unused oil, the doughnuts would brown less quickly)

Method :

Mix together milk and sugar, stir in the crumbled yeast and let sit until it turns foamy (10-15 mns).

Active yeast

Blend thoroughly the salt into the water. Like me, you can boil the water with the salt to dissolve it, then let it cool until it is lukewarm.

Put the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the milk and yeast mixture to it, before mixing in gradually the salted water, using a wooden spoon.

Keep kneading for 10 mns or so, to form a smooth, no more sticky yet quite wet dough.

Lángos dough

Give it a ball shape with the help of the wooden spoon, dust it well, then cover and let stand until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours according to room temperature.

Risen lángos dough

Put the dough on a floured work surface and divide it into 4 or 5 parts.

Lángos dough rolls

Shape the dough rolls into balls, dust them and let them stand covered until doubled in size again (about 30 mns in summer/ 1 hr in winter).

Pour frying oil in a large shallow frying pan or wok to cover the bottom by 2 inches. As my grandma says, the doughnuts should be able to "swim" in it ! Heat it up on medium to high heat until it reaches 375°F.

Once the oil is hot (not ahead), take a dough ball and stretch it out with your fingertips, making sure the sides are slightly thicker than the center but being careful not to crack the dough (however, it is fine if it isn’t evenly stretched out). It should look like a small pizza dough, about 20 cm / 8-inch in diameter.

Shaping a lángos

Carefully drop the stretched piece of dough into the hot oil and deep-fry it until golden brown, 1 to 2 mns, flipping it over and bursting it on both sides with a fork while frying.

Frying a lángos

Drain on paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Repeat the last steps with the other dough rolls.

Enjoy the lángos hot, as they are, rubbed with crushed garlic, spread with sour cream, or topped with anything else that pleases you (see above for other suggestions). I like to tear them into pieces along the way…

My way to eat a lángos

They would keep a few days and might be reheated in an oven.

Lángos

Jó étvágyat !

3 réflexions sur “"Lángos", the ultimate Hungarian street food

  1. Ping : « Lángos , l’emblème de la cuisine de rue hongroise | «

  2. Thank you so much for posting this… my childhood memories of the hungarian club’s $1 langos lunches are now able to come right into my kitchen! (Australia)

    • Thank you too, Scarlett ! Your compliment moved me, this is exactly the kind of feelings I’m looking for too when I cook. Hope thus you’ll enjoy these langos as much as you did as a child ! Take note though that some recipes call for adding potato to the dough, which isn’t the case in this one.

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