Wednesday, January 13

Homemade Donuts for the Old New Year

Today is not a good day to fight with anyone, as all year could be jinxed, according to an old Orthodox Christian's believes. 
The 14th January is the New Year's Day in old Julian calendars (it's actually January 1st). This day is also called The Little Christmas and it has many interesting believes and traditions. One is that if you had a bad last year, at midnight, when the clock strikes 12 times, open your window, and pronounce "never happen again, " or make a wish and kiss your dear ones.
It should bring you a good luck in the new year!

Slavic people, took Christianity in 7th century and had a hard time forgetting their thousand years old pagan traditions and believes. They took Christianity, but never really separated from their pagan fate, as they let some customs, old faith and believes, merge into their new religion. So, most of unusual traditions for their Christian holidays are basically pagan. Taking unique Saint to be celebrated centuries after, as a major holiday in the families (Slava in Serbs), is the remembrance day, when the Slavic tribe that family roots are from, took Christianity. Slavic paganism today is gaining again big popularity among its people.

Perun -  Major Slavic god
Veles - Major Slavic god
In Old Serbia-Kosovo, it was believed that if a girl wants to find husband that year, she should spend that night in someone else's house. In Bosnia at dawn, young girls climb the attic, threw their shoes outside the door, and if shoes fall in the opposite direction from home - that would be a sign that she would go in that direction to marry and not stay home anymore. According to various literary sources of the customs and beliefs of the Serbs, many Christmas rituals are repeated or had their final part after Christmas in Old New Year, starting from traditions of lightning fires near cress-sections at Vojvodina (part of Serbia) and burning remains of the Yule log in Herzegovina .

On this day, a special bread/cake is made, usually called "vasilica". The cake is made from corn and is carved with three red threaded drain branches, which represent the Holy Trinity. It was believed in some areas, it would be a good year if on this day snows or it's cloudy. In some areas, they would make a cake with a hole in the middle that would be put on ox's right horn. The direction where the cake falls after the ox shake his head, describes how the harvest will be on that year.

One of traditional food prepared for this day are doughnuts. The coin (in old times golden) is inserted in one and whole bunch is baked: who ever gets it, it is believed that it will have the most luck that year.
So I am just going to make some doughnuts now and leave you with this amazing recipe. I'm not making them often for one reason: my girls have a hard time stop eating them...
Enjoy and Happy New Year again, and don't forget at midnight to open that window and let the all bad things from 2015 go!

Homemade doughnuts/donuts

400 g of flour,
1 egg
1 egg yolk
3 tsp dry years
100 g of melted butter
0.2 l of warm milk
pinch of salt
3 tbsp of sugar,
1 tsp vanilla extract
grated rind of orange or lemon,

Oil for frying
powdered sugar mixed with vanilla bean for sprinkling


In large bowl put flour and stir in the egg, egg yolk, melted butter, salt, sugar, vanilla, orange zest and dry years, let proof prior incorporating with other ingredients for 10 min in warm milk ( or use fresh crumbled yeast and warm milk directly mixed in) 

Mix well and knead into compact soft dough.

If it's too soft add a little flour or if hard, add a little more milk. The dough should separate from the walls of the vessel and it shouldn't stick to your fingers. Cover the dough with a clean cloth and leave to rest for about 45min (depending on where it stand, if it is warm faster it will rise). When the dough has risen throw it to the working area to which you previously sprinkled flour and divide it into two parts. Roll each part with rolling pin into a finger thick dough. Then take a small glass and cut out circles from the dough.

Repeat the procedure with the other half of dough and leave donuts proof another fifteen minutes to floured surface to prevent them from sticking.

In a deeper pan heat up a larger amount of oil and slowly inject the donut circles to be fried. Do not fry them at the highest temperature but reduce to medium. Bake them for a few minutes on both sides until they are brown. Finished donuts by placing them on the napkin to absorb excess oil. Donuts can be sprinkled with powdered sugar, vanilla sugar coated or you can inject domestic jam or Nutella inside.

Or if you celebrate Old New Year, put that coin in one donut, close your eyes and let the luckiest family member draw it tonight or in the morning!

Bon Appetite!

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