Fried Dough (Langoš)
Ingredients: 3 cups flour (~400g), 1 packet yeast (~25g), 1 egg, teaspoon salt, teaspoon sugar, 1 plain yogurt or 6 ounces of sour cream, various items for toppings (garlic, ketchup, shredded cheese, sour cream). This will make about 6 large langoshes.
Prep time: 30 minutes to make dough, 4 hours to let dough sit, another 30 minutes for frying
Langoše (plural of langoš, pronounced langosh) are these fried dough snacks that are very popular throughout Slovakia and the Czech Republic. You will find them offered by street vendors, in the same fashion that hot dogs are available here in Washington, D.C. In my hometown of Banská Bystrica, there is one langoš booth that has been located in the same spot going back as far as I can remember. It is next to an old, communist-era, department store called Prior. I usually stop there for a quick snack when I am back home. Langoše are also available at outdoor swimming pools. That’s another place where I had them during my last visit. Well, that was over a year ago. On top of that, my friend Lucia who lives in New York, keeps teasing me with her semi-weekly trips to a Slovak pub where they serve them (as far as I know, langoše are not available anywhere in D.C.). I figured it was about time for me to make some! I obtained the recipe from my grandma Pavka.
In a container, combine the flour (múka), one egg (vajce), a packet of yeast (droždie), and about a teaspoon of salt (soľ) and sugar (cukor). Also add about 3/4 cups of sour cream (kyslá smotana), or one plain white yogurt (6oz). I used yogurt since it was cheaper. Mix together and add just enough water to make dough. A little side note: the original recipe did not specify to add water. This was either implied, or perhaps yogurts in Slovakia are bigger or more watery.
When it’s time to make langoše, simply take out about a handful of dough and work it to make a large pancake. I started by squishing it in the middle and then going around the edges pushing the dough out. It also helps if you first wet your hands with cold water. This will make the dough more malleable. You want the resulting disk to be thin and transparent, and no more than few millimeters thick. It’s ok if you end up with few small holes. The raw langoš should be about the size of a dinner plate, but no bigger than your frying pan!
Serve warm. Salt to taste. The best topping by far is crushed garlic. I make my garlic paste by shredding garlic on a food grater and then adding bit of water. Other popular toppings include ketchup or sour cream combined with cheese. You may substitute yogurt for sour cream. According to my Czech friend Tereza, langoše are also topped with powdered sugar. I have never tried that combination but I do like funnel cakes so I can imagine it being good. Refrigerate whatever dough you don’t use up. Enjoy! For another great Slovak snack, checkout the recipe for potato pancakes.