Mekitsi is a simple Bulgarian fried dough recipe that can be made for breakfast or brunch. It’s very similar to donuts, but it can be eaten with powdered sugar (for sweet lovers) or some cheese (for a savory variation. And if I know anything, it’s this…a Bulgarian doughnut recipe is an excellent way to start the day.
Once you try this recipe, you’ll end up making it at least twice a month, it’s quick, it’s easy, and it really is that good. It’s a fairly versatile dish to, you can dress it up or down any way you like.
What is mekitsi
A traditional breakfast made from fried kneaded dough, mekitsi is generally credited as a Bulgarian recipe. However, it is commonplace in Macedonia and Serbia as well. The word mekitsi means “softness”, and depending on the region you’re in, it can be called a few different things (for example, you’ll often here mekitsa in Bulgaria, or mekica in Northern parts of Macedonia).
How to make Bulgarian mekitsi
Mekitsi is simple to make. It consists of three main ingredients: flour, water, and yeast (and we add a touch of salt for flavour, and some sugar for sweetness) – everything is mixed together until combined, given some time to rise, separated into individual pieces, and then fried in hot oil.
How to shape Bulgarian fried dough
The fried mekitsi dough can be made into any shape you like, but the traditional recipe calls for round shapes. And this is the fun part – on first attempt, how to shape the fried dough can be a bit tricky because the dough is so sticky (Hey! That rhymed!).
A little extra oil in a small bowl is the secret! Dip your hands in oil and form the round shapes with the dough, and then dip them in the hot oil. It’s important to spoon the hot oil on top of the dough as soon as you put the shaped dough into the oil. This helps it to rise nicely.
Once the dough has become golden brown on one side turn it over, to cook the other side for about 3-4 minutes. That’s it. That’s all the tips you need to make delicious European fried dough.
One of the best things about meketsi is how is easy it is to switch it up between a sweet or savoury breakfast. Here are a few options for each:
Sweet Fried Dough Ideas
- Dust with powdered sugar
- Sprinkle on some cinnamon sugar
- Strawberry jam is magic
Savory Fried Dough Ideas
- Creamy feta cheese is a popular savoury option.
- A dollop of Greek yoghurt adds moisture and tartness.
Like most fried dough recipes, mekitsi doesn’t keep well. It can be left out at room temperature for up to one day. If refrigerated in an airtight, it can be kept for two days.
Freezing is generally not recommended for this recipe. But don’t worry, once you smell that delicious fried dough…you won’t want to freeze it!
Brunch around the world
The world is full of beautiful and delicious breakfast/brunch recipes. Here are a few other suggestions:
- French Crepes
- Japanese Pancakes
- Franzbrotchen – German Cinnamon Buns
- Cilbir – Turkish eggs in Yoghurt
- Hong Kong-style French Toast
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Keeping it short and sweet today (hey! That’s kinda like me!), bestie. Have you tried mekitsi/fried dough before? What toppings do you like? Let me know in the comments below.
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Mekitsi (Bulgarian Fried Dough)
- Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Yield: 8 mekitsi pieces 1x
- Diet: Vegetarian
Mekitsi is a Bulgarian fried dough recipe that can be made for breakfast or brunch. Similar to donuts, but it can be eaten with powdered sugar (for sweet lovers) or some cheese (as a savory variation).
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- In a mixing bowl, using a wooden spoon, stir the flour, water, yeast, salt and sugar together until combined.
- Let the dough rest for 1 hour at room temperature.
- With oiled hands form small pieces of the dough and fry them in hot oil on medium heat. (As soon as the dough hits the oil, spoon the hot oil over the dough to help it rise.)
- Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side.
- Serve with icing sugar, cheese or Greek yogurt.
- Initially, the dough is very soft and pillowy to the point that it’s actually difficult to handle. However, given the time to rise, it becomes fluffier, and much easier to handle.
- I recommend cooking this recipe on medium heat – I find that’s the sweet spot where it won’t burn on the outside or still be raw on the inside.
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Frying
- Cuisine: Bulgarian
Keywords: mekitsi, bulgarian fried dough, mekitsi fried dough, mekitsa, mekica
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