Koblihy are traditional Czech fried pastry with filling, traditionally prepared at several festivities.
Together with boží milosti and vdolky, koblihy (sg. kobliha) are typically fried for Masopust and especially the Fat Thursday. In some regions, they’re called šišky (especially if they’re elongated) and their name overlaps also with the aforementioned vdolky which is the same pastry with a different shape. According to the region, koblihy can also be called vdolky and their traditional marmalade filling can be found inside the pastry or on top. And you probably guessed by now that in English-speaking countries these would be the donuts.
Koblihy we already popular in the Middle ages when they were prepared by specialized bakers called kobližníci. Gradually, common people started frying this delicacy and some of them even started selling them as competition to the bakers. Less commonly, the dough is wrapped around in a spiral or into knots, shaped like bear claws or into small figures and birds.
- 0,5 kg of semi coarse flour (see Czech Flour Guide, all-purpose flour will be ok, if you can’t get polohrubá mouka)
- 50 g of softened butter
- 4 egg yolks
- 40 g of powder sugar + some for sprinkling
- 1 tbsp of vanilla sugar
- 1 tbsp of lemon juice
- 3 tbsp of Czech rum
- 200 ml of milk
- 1 tsp of granulated sugar
- 1 cube of active yeast (42 g) or 2 tsp of dried yeast
- 1/2 tsp of salt
How to make Koblihy
Pour the milk in a small bowl and heat it up a little. Break the yeast into small pieces and add them to the milk. Add 1 tsp of granulated sugar, cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest for a while until the yeast starts forming bubbles. In another bowl, combine the softened butter and powder sugar. Add egg yolks, vanilla sugar, lemon juice, and rum. Put the flour in a large bowl, add salt, then the yeast mixture and the butter mixture. Knead well, first with a wooden spoon, then with your hands. You will need to knead for a while, the dough needs to be not only visually well-combined but also lightly sticky. Place the dough in a bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rest in a warm place.
If your kitchen’s cold, you can heat up your oven a little and let it rest there.
After the dough’s doubled in size, knead it again and let it rise again. This will make your resulting dough nicely smooth.
And here comes the first crossroads depending on which kind of koblihy you want to make. You need to roll out the dough, if you want it filled with marmalade, it can be thinner (about 0,5 cm), if you want to put marmalade on top, it should be thicker (1 cm or more).
You’ll be cutting out circles, either with a cookie cutter, or even with a glass.
If you’re making filled koblihy, you’ll need an even number of pieces.
For filled koblihy, put a teaspoon of marmalade in the center of half the pieces.
Cover them with another piece and press the edges. For koblihy with marmalade on top, just cut out circles. Whichever version you’re making, now’s the time to cover them with a kitchen towel and let them rise.
Heat up some oil, it should be enough for koblihy to float. It should be hot enough for the dough to start frying instantly but not on the highest heat. Place them in, fry them on one side, flip them over and fry on the other side. They should be golden brown, not dark brown or too pale.
Especially if you’ve made filled koblihy, sprinkling them with powder sugar is the only last touch needed.
If they’re not filled, put some marmalade on top. I recommend eating them soon, they taste best the day you make them!
And what with those dough leftovers after you cut out the circles? Fry them as well!