Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Krofne - Serbian doughnuts for good luck in 2010!

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New Year’s Day traditions invariably involve resolutions, a fresh start and the consumption of certain foods which are believed to hold the promise of good luck, good health and prosperity and undoubtedly help to lessen the effects of hangovers!  In the South, black-eyed peas and collard greens are the key ingredients, while in Italy and Brazil it’s lentils.  The Spaniards eat twelve grapes at midnight, one for each coming month, and in Poland and Germany herring and sauerkraut work their magic.

In my native Serbia, the tradition is to eat krofne.  Krofne are sweet and airy doughnuts that are made with a yeast-activated dough similar to beignets, Dutch oliebollen and Polish pączki.  As the yeast feeds on the sugar, the dough rises and so will your good fortune!  Always round in shape, krofne symbolize that we have come full circle and are about to start anew.  

Krofne are delicious hot with just a sprinkling of sugar, or filled with jam, preserves, honey, cinnamon or even Nutella.   Each person fills their own once they are served.  These come with a warning:  once you’ve had one, you have to have another, and another, and another…!

Krofne (Serbian doughnuts)  adapted from Violet Sekulich’s recipe at St Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Merrillville, Indiana.

7 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting and kneading

1 tablespoon instant or rapid-rise yeast

1 cup milk 

1 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1 stick (4 ozs.) unsalted butter, cut up into 1 tablespoon chunks

3 large eggs

1/2 gallon vegetable oil

Blend 7 cups flour and instant yeast in a large bowl.  Set aside.

Combine milk, water, sugar, salt and butter in a microwave-safe bowl (I use a glass measuring bowl).  Microwave at intervals (depending on how strong your microwave is), until the liquids register between 110° – 120°F.   Pour liquids and eggs into flour and yeast mixture and beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture in blended and sticky. 

Generously flour a work surface and dump the dough on the flour.  Knead for about 5 minutes, adding flour a little at a time until the dough is smooth and slightly sticky.  Lightly grease a bowl with oil.  Place the dough in the bowl and flip it over so that the entire surface of the dough is covered in oil.  Place the dough in a warm part of the kitchen and allow it to rise until it is double in size.  When the dough has doubled in size, place it on a floured work surface and punch it down with your hands.

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Sprinkle a little flour on top and fold the dough over itself a couple of times.  Knead for a couple of minutes and using a rolling pin, roll the dough until it is about 1/2” thick.  Using a 2.5” cookie cutter dipped in flour, cut dough into rounds as shown below.  Here we’re using an old cookie cutter which is leaving a circular impression in the dough which disappeared as the  doughnuts rose.

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Transfer each dough round onto a floured cookie sheet lined with a silpat, parchment or wax paper.  Allow to rest for about 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat the oil in a fryer to 350°FFry doughnuts until light brown, flipping them over after about 2 minutes.  Drain for a couple of minutes on a cookie rack that has been placed on newspaper. 

Transfer the doughnuts to a serving platter and dust with confectioner’s sugar.  Serve with your choice of jams or preserves, honey, cinnamon or Nutella.

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I wish all of my readers and their families peace, love, understanding and joy in 2010!



  1. Odlično izgledaju..meko i pahuljasto..

  2. Dragana, these look amazing! Much joy to you in the coming year, as well!

  3. Yumm,yumm,sounds great,thanks for this.
    Odavno nisam jela krofne a ovo izgleda vrlo primamljivo.:O)
    Happy holidays,Aleksandra

  4. Haj Dragana (očekujem da znaš srpski),
    Dopada mi se tvoj recept za krofne. Nisam znala za običaj :-)
    Sretna Nova godina i sve najbolje.

  5. So happy to see this recipe! My mom and I love Beignets because of their similarity to krofne. I need to figure out how to make these, gluten free, using your recipe as a starting point. Thank you!

  6. Divno izgledaju. Odusevila me fotka :))

  7. This all looks DELICIOUS and your pics are beautiful!! I'm so glad I found your blog :)

  8. Great photos, do you take them yourself

  9. Thanks everyone for the compliments!
    Richard: I take my own photos. Sometimes it's a challenge with the lighting (I like natural daylight), and sometimes it's a balancing act and I would like to have an extra hand!

  10. Thank you soo much for this recipe! My fiancé is always talking about how his grandmother made the best doughnuts! He's Serbian and was happily surprised to find his American fiancé making Krofne. If anyone is interested i used spelt flour and honey instead of sugar! The recipe turned out great! A glass lined in oil works great as a cookie cutter! :) Thank you again for this great recipe!

  11. Dragana hvala vam za ovaj recept.Moja pokojna mama je bila veoma dobra kuharica.Steta sto sam izgubila njen kuhar.Uvijek sam volila kako je ona pravila krofne i razne kolace.Posto nisam zadovoljna sa receptom za krofne sto mi je netko dao , tako sam posla da nadem novi na internetu i eto nadoh tvoj.Evo sam bas zakuhala po tvome receptu pa se nadam da ce biti dobre krofne. Dragana hvala jos jednom.Nadam se da vam je 2010 bila dobra, a ujedno se nadam i zelim vam sve najbolje u buducem zivotu. Jovanka

  12. I am Serbian and I love these things my mom makes them the best. My sisters friend once ate ten of them. I just watched in disgust.

  13. I made these tonight but halved the recipe. They didn't have the infamous white ring (which I know is considered perfect krofne) and they didn't rise as much, but non the less they were still tasty. I'm just glad someone was able to finally put up a recipe with precise measurements which is very hard to find. (Think: 500g brasno, po potrebi voda, etc..ugh!) Thanks again!

  14. Milena - I know what you mean about recipes from the old country - my kuvar is useless sometimes because I did not have the pleasure of watching my grandmother prepare food to know "po potrebi voda"! I'm going to make the recipe even more precise by converting it into grams and milliliters the next time I make krofne! I'm glad you liked the flavor and I hope they will rise a little more for you the next time you make them. Is the oil very hot when you fry them? The oil will puff them up somewhat.

  15. Dragana, hvala najlepse na ovom receptu. I ja sam prepolovio meru i ispalo je savrseno. Inace sam pocetnik u kuhinji i ne umem da mesim testo, ali ovo uopste nije bilo tesko! Dodato u bookmarks za sva vremena!
    Najlepsi pozdrav

  16. Vladimire - bas mi je milo da su vam se svidale! Hvala vam na komentaru i zelim vam sve najbolje!

  17. Dragana, thank you for this recipe.

    I am not the one to prepare things from dough. For me for some reason it never rises:((.
    But this recipe was spot on, and krofne were picture perfect even though it was the first time I made them.

    Happy Holidays to you and your family,

  18. Ja sam ih pravila po vasem receptu i ispale su predivne i ukusne.Hvala vam mnogo na ovome receptu. Kad god se vratim na ovaj vas recept voda mi ide na usta i uvijek napravim krofne za svoju familiju jer ih svi volimo veoma mnogo. Jos jednom havala vam i zelim vam mnogo zdravlja , srece i ljubavi u Novoj 2012 Godini sa vasom familijom....

  19. Evo mi smo pravili krofne i snimili video, pa nam recite da li vam se svidja :)

  20. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  21. Dragana:
    Mom was German, Papa was Serbian. My sister and I are looking through the internet for a Zhito recipe. We just found your blog. Loved the doughnuts... a favorite at church picnics at St. Sava in Ohio. Any recipe you have would be appreciated.

    1. My mom's recipe for zito is as follows: 1 kg wheat berries, 1 kg finely ground walnuts, 3/4 - 1 kg sugar (to taste), 2 packets vanilla sugar (like Oetker brand).
      Cook wheat berries in water until tender. Pour into colander and drain well. Cool completely.
      Grind cooked wheat berries in a meat grinder (pass through once). Set aside about 3/4 cup ground walnuts for finishing the zito. Add ground walnuts, sugar to taste, and vanilla sugar. Blend all ingredients together, using your hands, by squeezing the ground wheat with other ingredients until it's thick and pasty and delicious! Place in decorative dish and round the top. Cover zito evenly with the 3/4 cup ground walnuts you've saved and then with a generous layer of confectioner's sugar mixed with a packet of vanilla sugar. Enjoy!

  22. Kako ste and Good morning from Chicago during the Covid-19 lockdown pandemic anyway my question is ; Can I freeze the krofne dough?

    1. Hvala vam, ja i moji su smo dobro u Hjustonu. I have not tried to freeze the dough yet, but I don't know why it wouldn't work. I'll test a batch the next time I make them. Best of luck - D.

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