Loukoumades (Honey Puffs)

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1.5 CUPS PLAIN FLOUR • 1 SACHET YEAST • 1/2 TSP. SALT • 1 TSP. SUGAR • 1/2 CUP WARM WATER • 1.5 CUPS WARM MILK • 1/2 TSP. GROUND MASTIHA OR 1 TBLSP. MASTINA LIQUOR OR OUZO • HONEY • 1/2 CUP TOASTED CRUSHED WALNUTS OR ALMONDS • 2 TBLSP. TOASTED CRUSHED SEASAME SEEDS • CINNAMON, GROUND • 1/2 CANOLA & 1/2 LIGHT OLIVE OIL TO FRY

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• Dilute yeast in the warm water & add sugar
• Put aside for 10 mins, until frothy
• In a large bowl, add flour mixed with mastiha, salt
• Make a well in the centre, add all wet ingredients
• Whisk until it forms a smooth dough (the thickness should be almost like a fish & chip batter)
• Add a little more milk, if it looks too thick put aside for 1 hour or until it doubles in volume
• Heat the oil in a deep pot, if you have a gas burner, use it as it keeps the temperature more regular
• Have a cup ready filled with water & a round spoon

• Using your hand, grab a handful of batter in your palm, clench your fist to squeeze it out through your thumb & index finger, forming a small ball at top of your hand
• Dip your spoon in the glass of water & scoop up the ball you have made (this stops it from sticking & forms a perfect circle)
• Drop it into the hot oil. If it takes too long to puff up wait till your oil is a little hotter. Try a few at a time use a slotted spoon to turn when they are done
• Place on a platter, drizzle with honey, sprinkle with nuts, sesame seeds and cinnamon

My Grandmother always used the best honey and mastiha for these honey puffs. Some islands make a syrup with sugar & water & sprinkle with icing sugar. I guess it’s what you have grown up, honey & nuts for me every time.

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