It was literally the very first thing we got to eat during our food tour of Taste Hungary: a freshly baked crispy langos. And I was immediately sold. That crispy crust coated with garlic, sour cream and grated cheese. So very nice. You just want that over and over again. At the market where we ate our first langos they sold this fried bread in all shapes. With the sour cream as I mentioned but also topped as a whole pizza.
Langos probably comes from the time when Hungarians still baked their bread in stone ovens. They sometimes kept a piece of the bread dough to make a breakfast-like flatbread. The name comes from where the bread was prepared. Close to the láng, the flame, of the oven.
As home baking became less common, langos changed from something you make at home to a deep-fried street food snack eaten and topped like a pizza. Traditionally, it is rubbed with garlic before the sour cream and grated cheese is added.
How do you make langos at home?
Making your own langos is not necessarily more complicated than making your own bread. I have to admit that making bread is not my strongest point. I usually lack patience and as a result I don’t knead the bread long enough. And then it doesn’t rise well enough and I’m left with a less than perfect bread. Or a loaf of bread you could bash someone’s head in with. So I was very curious to see how it would go this time with making the langos dough.
Knead, knead, knead
I made the langos in the Kitchen Aid this time. I don’t think this is the best machine for kneading dough but at least it did the preliminary work. I let the dough knead in the machine for about five minutes, but it was still very sticky and definitely not what a good dough should look like. So I continued the kneading on the counter by hand and added some more flour. When it was good enough in my opinion I put it in a bowl covered with some oil and covered it with a tea towel. After an hour I looked in the bowl and victory!
The dough had risen nicely and had definitely doubled in size. The rest of the process is than rather simple. Make sure the oil is hot enough before you put the langos in, otherwise it will take too long and your bread will get greasy.
Let it cool down a little bit, spread it with lots of sour cream and grated cheese and off you go! Do you have any left? Then pop it in the toaster for a bit before eating.
Add the warm mashed potato in a bowl together with the yeast, sugar, flour, oil, salt and the milk. You can either make it in a machine or by hand. I made it in the Kitchen Aid and worked it by hand after that.
Knead the dough for about 5-7 minutes with the machine until smooth. If you knead by hand you need a bit longer than that.
If it is too sticky knead it longer and add a bit more flour if needed. Place the dough in a clean bowl rubbed with a bit of oil and cover with a clean tea towel.
Leave to rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
Divide the dough into four pieces. Make balls out of each piece and place them on a board dusted with some flour, cover and leave to rise for another 20 minutes.
Take a large pan and heat the oil to 180˚C. (350˚F)
Flatten each ball and stretch it a little. Bake in the hot oil until golden brown. Brush it with the garlic cloves as soon as it comes out of the oil. Cover with cream and sprinkle with the grated cheese.
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