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Carnival donuts fried in homemade lard

Carnival doughnuts are indispensable at carnival time. Our nonnas fry them in homemade lard, which is particularly suitable for frying because of its fatty acid content. It is important to leave the doughnuts to rise, as this will make them ideal for frying and give them their characteristic white ring. We used Romana Jug Povhe's recipe because her doughnuts are a hit on YouTube! Once you try them, you'll wish it was carnival every day.

Ingredients (for 30 carnival donuts)

Doughnuts (dough)

500 g soft flour

500 g pungent flour

10 g salt

100 g fresh yeast

100 g sugar

1 vanilla sugar

9 egg yolks

12 dkg oil

2 tablespoons of rum

4,5 dcl milk

Homemade lard for frying


Put the two flours in the bowl of a food processor, add the salt and mix. In a small bowl, break up the fresh yeast, add 3 teaspoons of sugar and 0.5 dcl of lukewarm milk (make sure it's not too hot). Mix and pour into the hole you made in the flour. Sprinkle the flour over the edge of the bowl and leave to rise.

Meanwhile, prepare the egg mixture by beating the 9 egg yolks, 100g sugar and a bag of vanilla sugar with a mixer. Add two drops of vanilla flavouring and the oil and mix. Then add the remaining milk and mix until frothy. Add 2 tablespoons of rum.

Add the egg mixture to the bowl with the flour and yeast after you see the yeast rising. Mix everything together for about 15 min in a food processor. Meanwhile, prepare a tablecloth on the kitchen counter, half of which should be greased (the remaining half will cover the doughnuts, so make sure the tablecloth is big enough).

Transfer the kneaded dough to a board and start forming 70 g balls between your hands, smooth and even. Place the balls on a floured tablecloth, making sure to leave enough space between the doughnuts so that they do not stick together during the rising process. Once the dough has been used, cover the doughnuts with the other half of the tablecloth and leave to rise for 45 minutes to double in size.

Heat the lard in a pan, the height of the heated fat should be 2cm so that the balls do not touch the bottom but float. The fat must be heated to 160 °C, which on an induction cooker is one-third the heat of the cooker. To test if the fat is at the right temperature, dip the handle of a wooden skewer into the fat and when bubbles start to form around it, you can start frying the doughnuts.

Gently place the doughnuts in the oil so that the side that was on top during the rising process is on the bottom. Place 4-6 doughnuts at a time in the dish, depending on the size of the dish. Cover with a lid and leave to fry for 3-4 minutes. Leave the pan uncovered while the doughnuts are frying on the other side. 

This is where the magic happens. As the doughnuts are frying, they absorb the flavor of the lard, creating an extra layer of richness and depth. The lard also helps to create a crispy, golden-brown crust on the outside of the doughnut, while the inside remains soft and fluffy. While the idea of using lard may seem old-fashioned or unhealthy, using homemade lard actually has several benefits. Homemade lard is free of additives and preservatives, making it a healthier option than store-bought alternatives. It is also less processed and has a richer flavor profile, enhancing the flavor of the doughnuts.

At the end, place the fried carnival doughnuts on a tray lined with paper towels to drain off the excess fat. Fill with jam or other fillings if desired, sprinkle with icing sugar or any other topping of your choice. They can be served fresh and warm or stored in an airtight container for later consumption.

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