Spiral Fritters with Honey
These fanciful spirals of fried dough, a take on Greek thiples, are crisp and sweet through and through. They're all the more enticing when topped with cinnamon, walnuts, and an immoderate dose of honey.
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed and for surface
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons ouzo
- 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2/3 cup fresh orange juice
- 6 cups plus 2 tablespoons orange-blossom or other mild honey
- Vegetable oil (about 4 cups), for frying
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped
Place flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl; whisk to combine. Make a well in center, and add eggs, ouzo, olive oil, orange juice, and 2 tablespoons honey. Lightly mix with a fork until dough is smooth and no longer sticky. (Add more flour if needed.)
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until dough is smooth, 10 to 15 minutes. (Alternatively, fit a mixer with a dough hook, and knead 8 to 10 minutes.) Cover dough with plastic, and let stand 30 to 60 minutes.
Divide dough into 8 pieces. Using a rolling pin, flatten 1 piece, rolling from the center outward, easing the pressure when the pin is close to the edge, until slightly thinner than the widest setting on a pasta machine. Dust lightly with flour, then feed through a pasta machine on the widest setting (#1), supporting both ends of the sheet with your palms to keep it flat; repeat twice. Turn dial to next narrower setting. Pass dough through twice. Continue to roll dough twice through each ever-finer setting, until thin (#5). Repeat with rest of pieces.
With a fluted pastry cutting wheel, cut each sheet of dough into strips that are 20 inches long and 1 inch wide.
Heat vegetable oil in a medium saucepan until it registers 350 degrees. Wrap end of 1 strip of dough around index and middle fingers, pinching end to create a loop of dough with a long tail. Wrap tail around 3 fingers, then around 4 fingers. Pinch end against spiral. Gently drop spiral into hot oil, and cook, turning once, until golden brown and puffed, about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat.
Transfer fritters to a serving dish, and pour remaining 6 cups honey generously over top. Sprinkle with cinnamon and walnuts. Serve warm or at room temperature.