02 February 2008

Berliner Pfannkuchen


So, there's a funny little story out there involving John F. Kennedy. In 1963, he made a visit to West Berlin. Once there he gave a very moving speech, and ended it with a heartfelt "Ich bin ein Berliner!" ("I am a Berliner!"). The crowd before him, they roared with enthusiasm. Only, unfortunately for Kennedy, the literal translation of "Ich bin ein Berliner!" is actually, "I am a jelly doughnut!".

Okay okay,... because he was not an actual real Berliner, his translation was actually technically correct (true Berliners would say, "Ich bin Berliner"). But I rather enjoy the thought that he shouted to a crowd that he was a jelly doughnut. And besides, Berliners are one rockin' jelly doughnut, so it's a great choice if you were to actually pretend you were a doughnut.

Berliners, as you can tell by this point, are a German jelly doughnut. They are traditionally served in the days prior to Ash Wednesday (hence the post, as we're closing in quickly!). I love these doughnuts. They remind me of cannonballs, a nice poofy dough with a sweet jam center. The dough itself is not too sweet, which I find just lovely. Although I rolled mine in sugar instead of the traditional sprinkle of powdered sugar, to make up for that lack of sweetness (for those people like dear Hubs, who has an insatiable sweet tooth).


There's another reason for the timing of this post, and that would be Peabody and Tartlette's event "Time to Make the Doughnuts". When you get these two ladies together, it's a dynamic similar to the duo of me and my sister Beah (except for fabulous baked goods and sweets, not mischief). Considering the hostesses, there was no way I was passing this one up. Besides: what a great reason to break out the fryer, right?? So to you, my dear ladies, I bring Berliners. And I wanna hear a nice "Ich bin ein Berliner" from you!

Berliners
(recipe from German Cooking by Ruth Malinowski)


Ingredients:
3 c. all purpose flour
2 egg yolks, beaten
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1 1/4 c. warm water; (105 to 115 deg
1/4 c. plum or apricot jam (I used raspberry)
1 pkg. Active dry yeast

Mix 2 cups flour with sugar and salt. Make a well in the center and add 1/4 cup warm water and the yeast. Allow to rise 20 minutes.

Add egg yolks, remaining water, and butter. Beat until well-blended. Add lemon rind and remaining flour until a soft dough is formed. Knead for 5-10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

Punch dough down. On lightly floured board roll dough 1/4 inch thick. cut dough into 2 inch rounds. On half of the rounds place about 1 teaspoons of jam or jelly. Moisten edges with water. Place a second round on top. Press firmly to seal edges. Let rise 15 minutes.

Fry in deep fat heated to 375 F for 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Cut into first doughnut to be sure it is done in the center. Drain on absorbent paper and sprinkle with lots of sugar as the doughnuts are not sweet.

41 comments:

Peabody said...

Tradtional or not...it just plain looks good!!!

A. Grace said...

i'll take a dozen, please. :)

wenkexin said...

they look gorgeous! try to fill them with plum butter next time - that's the way most Berliners like to eat them... and there's nothing wrong with using normal sugar instead of powdered sugar - it's actually more common in Berlin's bakeries to use sugar and not powdered sugar! god, they look so good, i'll have to get some Berliners from my bakery tomorrow...

Nemmie said...

Thanks wenkexin! Will have to try it with plum butter - would plum jelly work? Hubs' grandmother made a mean plum jelly, we've got a few jars in the cabinet :)

Tartelette said...

Oh wow!!! I think I just hurt myself staring at the screen! Don't forget to email me the entry at mytarteletteATgmailDOTcom

Sarah said...

You constantly amaze me. These look great.

wenkexin said...

dear nemmie: try it with plum jelly, should be tasty as well. you can actually fill Berliners with any kind of jam you like. During carnival season (now!) in Germany people also enjoy rather modern fillings like advocaat (egg liqueur) or nutella...

Ann said...

So beautiful!

Cheryl said...

I don't want to be a jelly donut like Kennedy, but I would definitely want to eat the jelly donuts you made. Awesome.

michelle said...

Great minds do, indeed think alike! These look awesome, Nemmie!

Lauren P said...

um, just wanted to point out that whoever wrote this article has some mis-information: Ich bin ein Berliner was said in the second sentence, not at the end of his speach.

M said...

I am not sure whether I got you wrong but Pfannkuchen are something entirely different...

They are sort of pancake like and as you said Berliners are some sort of doughnut...

Just wanted to say...

And both Pfannkuchen and Berliner are DELISH!!!!

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