Lalagia (Λαλάγγια) are the donuts of the Peloponnese! You can grab a bag of these ridiculously addictive authentic fried dough snacks in probably every bakery in all of Messinia and in many Greek markets in the US/Canada too. Whether you enjoy them as a savory or sweet treat, warm from the stove or days later, you’ll soon understand why they’re so popular!
What sets lalagia apart from other Greek fried dough like loukoumades or fried bread (ladopsomo/tiganopsimo) is that the recipe uses olive oil in the dough. Adding this one ingredient makes all the difference and produces the most wonderfully light, crunchy sticks that can be formed into all sorts of shapes. Lalagia are traditionally a Christmas-eve treat and children are often told the rather odd shapes scare off any evil spirits working up mischief on the night before
With just 3 ingredients, an hour to rise and two minutes to fry up a batch, lalagia are quick and easy to make up any time of year.
Serve these just as they are or with sauces and flavored oil to dip in for savory options. For a sweeter treat, dust with powdered sugar, dip into white sugar or drizzle with a light honey or sugar syrup. Seriously, just use your imagination- there are no wrong ways to enjoy lalagia.
And if you’re ever visiting Mani or especially the city of Kalamata in Greece, make sure you try them in their native habitat!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
Add yeast to warm water and set aside to proof for at least 10 minutes.
Combine flour and salt then add the oil and knead until dough comes together in a light crumble. Add proofed yeast and knead to combine completely.
Dough should be soft and loose but not sticky. Leave dough in it’s bowl, cover with a towel and let rise for 1 hour in a warm place.
Once dough has risen, do not punch down your dough. Simply scrape down the sides of the bowl and roll dough out onto a floured dish towel. Roll the dough in the floured dish towel until you get a log shape of about 10-12 inches long.
Slice the dough into approx 1 inch pieces. Roll each piece into a thin dough snake approx 18-24 inches long. Wrap or wind dough as desired and drop into hot oil. Turn when golden brown (about a minute or two) and remove from heat when both sides are cooked.
Makes 10-12 lalagia. Serve right from the stove or keep, covered, for up to 2 weeks.