Greek doughnuts

Greek doughnuts

The Islands of Greece
28 small doughnuts
Steven Joyce

These loukoumades are sweet little street food snacks, often sold harbour-side or at ports around Greece. They are dangerously easy to make and very moreish.

Once you’ve mastered these, try studding the centre with a little nugget of dark chocolate before frying.


Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon dry active yeast
200ml lukewarm water
50g caster sugar, plus more to dust (optional)
2 tablespoons greek yoghurt
250g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
vegetable oil, for frying
clear honey, to coat (optional)
2 tablespoons walnuts, crumbled
or 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted


  1. Mix the yeast and half the water together with 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Leave for 10 minutes to become frothy. Add the yoghurt to the yeast mixture and whisk together.
  2. In a bowl, mix the flour, the remaining sugar, baking powder and salt together. Whisk in the yeast mixture, plus gradually add the remaining water, to make a thick batter (you may not need it all). Cover and leave to rise somewhere warm for 1 hour.
  3. Pour about 5 cm of vegetable oil into a high-sided saucepan and place over a moderate heat. Using a pan thermometer, heat the oil to 180ºC, or when a cube of day-old bread sizzles and browns in 30 seconds.
  4. Have ready a small spoon in a glass of water. To shape the doughnuts, plunge your hand into the doughnut batter, and get a little of the mix into the palm of your hand. Over the bowl and with your thumb facing upwards, slowly clench your fist. You will see a little blob of the batter rising out of the hole formed by your fingers and thumb. When it is about the size of a marble, take the wet spoon in your other hand, scoop off the blob and place in the hot oil. Do this carefully as the water on the spoon will make the oil spit. Try not to use more than a marble- sized amount of batter, otherwise the dough may not cook through properly. Cook 4–5 at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Allow the loukoumades to cook for about 2½ minutes, or until they are golden brown, turning if necessary. If the oil is too hot, they will brown very fast but remain uncooked in the middle, so you may need to do a few experimental loukoumades and break them open to see if they are cooked within as well.
  5. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels, while you continue to cook the rest. Roll in a little sugar or drizzle with honey. Scatter with crumbled walnuts or sesame seeds to serve. Eat while warm.
The Islands of Greece
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