Angel Wings—crispy, delicate fritters—are perfect for using up the fat and other ingredients that are traditionally avoided during Lent. That's why it's popularly eaten during Poland's celebration of "Fat Thursday." They are relatively easy to make, although you need to build in a little time for resting the dough, kneading it and then frying the Angel Wings in small batches. The dough is not terribly tricky to work with and some cooks even take the opportunity of bashing the dough with a rolling pan, which is said to help remove the excess air.
Featured In: Light & Delicate Fritters for Polish Fat Thursday, Aka Doughnut Day —Ren Behan
- Makes 40-50 pieces
all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
Pinch sea salt
vanilla bean paste or extract, optional
grated lemon zest, optional
vegetable oil for frying
Confectioner’s sugar for serving
- Add the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix briefly to combine. Add the melted butter, egg yolks, vodka, sour cream, vanilla and lemon zest and mix again to combine. It should all come together to form a thick batter or a loose dough. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can mix everything together by hand in a bowl.
- Scrape the dough onto on a floured surface and bring it together into a ball. Wrap in cling wrap and leave the dough in the fridge to rest for 30-60 minutes to an hour.
- Sprinkle a little more flour onto a clean board, take the dough out of the fridge, unwrap it and knead the dough for 5-10 minutes. If it is too sticky, you may need to add a little more flour. You do not need to be gentle with a dough; some Polish cooks beat the dough with a rolling pin to work it. Cut the dough in half and cover half with cling wrap. Set half to one side.
- Sprinkle a little more flour onto the board and roll out the dough as thinly as possible (paper thin, ideally). I like to lift the dough occasionally to make sure it isn't sticking to the board. Add more flour as necessary. You can also use a pasta machine to get the dough thin if you like.
- Take a sharp knife and cut the dough into 1-inch thick strips. Cut each strip in half again to form two shorter pieces. Make a 1-inch slit down the middle of each strip with a knife. Taking one piece of dough at a time, pull one end of the dough through the slit you have made in the center. Pull gently until you have a twist in the middle. Repeat with all the strips. Roll out the remaining dough and repeat.
- In a large, wide pan, heat the oil to 350F. Prepare a tray lined with kitchen towel to drain the twists. Fry the strips, around 3-4 at a time, taking care not to overcrowd the pan, for 15 seconds. Use a fork or a spoon to flip the twists over to cook them on the other side for 15 seconds, until they are light golden brown. They will puff up a little, too.
- Drain the pastry twists on kitchen paper. Arrange on a large platter and dust liberally with confectioner’s sugar and serve as soon as possible.