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Vintage Recipe - Hungarian Fanks

chefbenwa's picture

Well I called my mother and I found out the Target bag of recipes she gave me in the “Passing On of the Recipes” post where her cast off recipes.


So I asked where are the recipes of the good stuff from my childhood, where is the Fank (a fried bread doughnut, topped with sugar) recipe or the Kálach (a pastry roll stuffed with nut meats and resins) recipe.




Well, I had to go to the source to get these great recipes. I took my family out to my Mom’s house in Marne MI. and made a batch of Fanks and three loves of Kálach.




I am going to cover the Fanks today and save the Kálach for another day. I had to miss the first half of the event because I had to go to my day job and work on the server. So I took the method from a great cook book my Mom uses “The Hungarian Cookbook”. The book was Published by the Chicago Culinary Arts Institute in 1955. Hey it’s just as old as I am!


You will need:

4 1/4 to 4 1/2 cups sifted flour

2/3 cup milk

1 pkg. quick rise active dry yeast in

1/4 cup warm water (110°F to 115°F

1/2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar

1/4 cup butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 egg yolks, well beaten

1 teaspoon rum (Optional)

2 to 3 cups of your favorite frying oil

1/2 Cup Sugar or Confectioners sugar



About 1 1/2 Doz.



Measure and set aside

4 1/4 to 4 1/2 cups sifted flour



2/3 cup milk


Meanwhile, mix

1 pkg. quick rise active dry yeast in

1/4 cup warm water (110°F to 115°F.


Let yeast stand 5 to 10 min.


Meanwhile, Put into a large bowl

1/2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar

1/4 cup butter

1/4 teaspoon salt


Immediately pour the scalded milk over ingredients in bowl.

When the mixtures is lukewarm, mix well and stir in about 1/2 cup of the sifted flour, beating until dough is smooth.

Stir the yeast and add to dough, mixing well. Add about one-half the remaining flour to the dough and beat until very smooth. Add in one-half, beating well after each addition, a mixture of:


6 egg yolks, well beaten

1 teaspoon rum


Then beat in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and let it rest 5 to 10 min. Knead .



Form dough into a large ball and put it into a greased bowl. Turn to bring greased surface to top. Cover bowl with waxed paper and a towel and let stand in warm place (about 80 degrees F) until dough has doubled. Punch dough down with fist; pull edges in to center and turn dough completely over in bowl. Cover bowl and let dough rise dough rise again until nearly doubled.


Turn dough out on floured surface and roll about 3/8 in. thick.



It was still really wet so they added flour.




With spatula, loosen dough from board wherever sticking occurs; lightly sprinkle flour underneath. Cut dough into rounds with a 3-in. lightly floured doughnut cutter (no hole in center).




Set out on clean cloth or parchment paper.




Cover with cloth and moisen with spray bottle. Let dough rise again 15 to 25 min., or until light.




About 20 min. before deep-frying, Fill a deep pan one-half to two-thirds full with your favorite frying oil. I use peanut. Heat slowly to 365°F. When using automatic deep-fryer, follow manufacturer's directions for amount of fat and timing.




Deep-fry the doughnuts 2 or 3 min. or until lightly golden browned and delicious. Deep-fry only one layer of doughnuts at a time; do not crowd. Turn doughnuts occasionally with a fork to brown evenly, but do not pierce. Notice the special Fank turning fork I get that in the will.




Drain doughnuts over fat for a second before removing to absorbent paper; cool slightly.




Sift over doughnuts confectioners’ sugar or do like we do and just dip the Fank into a shallow bowl of sugar.







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ifoodiee's picture
Wonderful recipe and blog chef..they look yumm..guess i can sprinkle some cinnamon also on top if it..i am sure it will add to the taste..but a mothers love ..that ingredient is priceless..:-)
chefbenwa's picture
Thanks, be sure to keep an eye out for the Kalach recipe
ifoodiee's picture
No doubts about that..will be looking out for that one:-)
Prezi's picture
Wow! I loved the step-by-step directions you have given there and the images make it so very helpful! I have never tried doughnuts with confectioner's sugar sprinkled on top of it and the pic you have given there looks so tempting :) and to top it all, the lady's expression after having a bite of it... I so miss ma Mamma and I so want to try this today itself!
chefbenwa's picture
The lady is my daughter, KT and older women is my mother.
Prezi's picture
Is that so! Both of them look so adorable! :) Seems like a great recipe from a great family sorts!
Gadget.Lady's picture
wuah! ur blog make me go drool Chef... These hungarian Fanks are just yum, gotta try it..
chefbenwa's picture
aparna.priya's picture
Chef, your step-by-step directions make this recipe pretty simple. I believe the most important part in the whole recipe is dough preparation and above all the sugar topping is amazing. However, addition of some kinda colorful toppings can give this doughnut a colorful texture!
chefbenwa's picture
You are so correct. You can pitch the middle like I did to the ones in the picture and fill the hole with a little jam or jelly. You can also choose not to pinch the middles and fill them with your favorite cream or fruit filling
Snigdha's picture
Looks yummy! Also the step by step instructions with pictures are very helpful.
chefbenwa's picture
veg.foodie's picture
so hungarian fanks... they are authentic hungarian recipes?? and ur family is Hungarian too?? exotic :)
Babika's picture
Simalar recipe that I used to make with my Nagyana (didn't add rum...think it was sipped while cooking. Ha!!!). Your pictures remind me of my childhood days cooking (and fighting wih my brother on who gets to stuff jam in the fank). Hope you continue. These memories are pricless. Thanks for sharing.
chefbenwa's picture
Thanks for the comment, and glad it brought back some nice memories.
Kathy M.'s picture
I remember flank being savory. Rubbing with garlic while still warm. Is the recipe the same or do I omit the surgar?
Yanchi Bachi's picture
Please help. My Granny made the most wonderful fanks ever. I will remember them til I die. I have tried three times now but the dough is heavy after baking. What am I doing wrong? Also does You Mom make Pogatchas?
Anonymous's picture
My grandma used to make this recipe all the time when my cousins and i were kids now thanks to you i can eat it again yuuuuummmmmmmmyyyyyyy =]
Anonymous's picture
What anice blog and the recipe is now on my wife's list of 'to make' for next week. On the question of books, I'll hunt for that one on your recomendation. I can equally recommend on that althiough neither Hungarian nor food as such is an excellent guide ... 'The fine art of mixing drinks'. It is informative, by not just giving recipes but telling you the reason as to why you should or should not mix certain drinks together. If you can get a copy, as I know it has been discontinued and reintroduced at least once in the intervening years, do so it truly is worth its weight in myrrh. Title: The Fine Art Of Mixing Drinks Author: David A Embury Publisher: Faber ISBN: 571 05412 9 (paper back) or 571 03385 7 (hard back) Now back to reading abit more about Hungarian food and my favourite Yemeni Matari coffee from The Tea and Coffee Emporium. Thanks for the post and the opportunity to comment.