A 1-tablespoon cookie or ice cream scoop works nicely for spooning out portions of the soft, wet dough. We were happy to learn that if you maintain a constant oil temperature of 375°, the dough absorbs only 1/4 cup; the key is to check the temperature frequently and to avoid overcrowding the pan.
Cooking Light DECEMBER 2009
1. Dissolve yeast in 1 1/4 cups warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon orange rind, salt, and egg, beating at medium speed with paddle attachment. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. With mixer on low speed, add flour 1 cup at a time, mixing until a spongy, soft dough begins to form (dough will be very soft and wet). Cover bowl with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour.
2. Clip a kitchen or candy thermometer to the side of a large, heavy saucepan. Add 5 cups oil to pan; heat oil over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 375°. Reduce heat to medium, checking frequently to maintain oil temperature. Carefully spoon 4 (1-tablespoon) dough portions into hot oil; cook 2 minutes on each side. Remove fried dough with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Repeat procedure with remaining dough.
3. Combine remaining 1 teaspoon rind, orange juice, 1 cup honey, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally until honey dissolves. Keep warm. Serve sauce with loukoumades.
Wine note: A bold, unctuous dessert wine is the match for these fritters, and this California offering, Herzog 2007 Late Harvest Riesling ($20), fills the bill. Sweet but not cloying, it's got just enough acid to help even out the loukoumades' rich flavors. Its concentrated fruit notes are a great match for the accompanying citrus-tinged honey syrup. --Adeena Sussman
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