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Langós is the national snack of Hungary. The dish is simple enough -- dough deep-fried in oil -- but preparing good langós requires skill and a fresh, well-made one is heavenly. Shops and bakeries all over Hungary sell langós for less than 100 Ft a piece, I can especially recommend the one on the second floor of Budapest's Nagycsarnok (Great Market) hall. But don't despair if you're not in the vicinity, try making your own!

Langós Dough The Easy Way

Got a bread machine? Then just whip up a batch of ordinary dough for bread, although you may want to substitute boiled and finely mashed potato for 15-20% of the flour and halve the water to compensate for the liquid in the potato mash. (For a normal machine that takes 6 dl of flour, this will mean about 1 dl, or one medium-size potato, and using 1 dl of water instead of 2.)

Langós Dough The Hard Way

Same as above, except that you'll have to knead the dough by hand. See white bread or baking bread for a recipe, but substitute in the potato if you wish, and you can omit everything other than flour, yeast, salt and water from both recipes.

Frying Langós

When the dough is ready, cut it into roll-sized pieces and let the pieces rise for half an hour or so. Only then is it time to turn ordinary rolls into langós: flatten each piece with a rolling pin, stretch them into pizza-type pancakes with your hands (the center should be thin but not break), and then deep fry until light brown, turning over once. The hardest bit here is iterating the oil temperature so that it's not too hot (resulting in burned langós raw on the inside) and not too cool (resulting in floppy langós soaked in oil, instead the crunchy outside yet fluffy inside consistency it should have). Do the bread test: at the right temperature, a piece of bread dropped into the oil should sink halfway and then float up.

Serve immediately with any combination of the following:

The above three are the classics, but you can improvise freely. Pile enough toppings on your langós and you can turn them into a full-fledged meal.

Note that a bread machine-full of dough will make around 12 langós, eating all of which would probably result in instant death from clogged arteries. As langós keep very poorly, you'll either need to recruit some friends to help you eat them, or scale down the recipe.

See Also

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