Faworki (aka angel wings) are a deep fried pieces of pastry, traditionally prepared for Fat Thursday in Poland. Both, faworki and pączki (deep-fried doughnuts with rose-petal preserve), are prepared and eaten in copious amounts on Fat Thursday here.
When I was a kid, I used to like the days, when my Mum decided to treat us to faworki, for no occasion: made just for us, kids, to have a little snack while we play. The memory of coming back from school and smelling faworki being fried from the moment I got to the gate will always be one of the most cherished.
You might think that making faworki is difficult, but it’s actually easier than it looks. The recipe below was dictated to me on the phone by my Mum, who makes the best faworki under the sun. Dare to try?
POLISH ANGEL WINGS (FAWORKI)
3 heaped cups of flour
5 egg yolks
1 cup sour cream
big pinch of salt
HOW TO MAKE?
1. Add the flour onto the pastry board. Make a hole in the middle and add the yolks and salt. Move it about a bit so flour absorbs the yolks, add the vodka and sour cream. Don’t add all the sour cream at once, you might not even need it all. Add as much as the flour will take, the dough shouldn’t be runny or too soft! It should be quite hard, actually.
2. Now the fun part starts. When the dough is ready and you have it formed in a ball, take your rolling pin and hit the dough with it. Many times and strong ;) Thanks to that, when you fry them they will look a bit pumped up.
3. Now, the difficult part. Roll out the dough until quite thin. You will probably need to divide your dough into two or even three parts. When rolled out, cut in in strips. Then, cut each strip into slanted rectangles. Now, make a little cut in the middle of each piece.
4. Take one rectangle piece and make it into a faworki shape. You simply have to take one end and thread it through the cut you made before and gently pull it out the other side. Now repeat about 40 times until all your faworki are done ;) Make sure your pastry board is sprinkled with flour to prevent sticking the dough to the board.
5. To fry, use rapeseed oil or lard. Lard is one of the few edible oils with a relatively high smoke point. Pure lard is especially useful for cooking since it produces little smoke when heated and has a distinct taste when combined with other foods. That’s why it’s recommended for deep frying. If you use the cheapest oil from the supermarket or the sunflower oil, it will burn after frying one lot of faworki and you’ll need to change it because of the amount of smoke you’ll have in your kitchen. In Poland we usually use lard for frying, might sound disgusting but give it a go.
6. Preheat the oil/lard in a deep saucepan or frying pan. It should be enough oil to cover faworki while frying. When the oil is hot, put some faworki in it. One lot will probably need about 5-7 minutes to fry. They should be golden brown when ready.
7. Very common problem while deep frying pastries: the hot oil might overflow. When it starts happening, just blow on it (be careful not to burn yourself though).
8. When the faworki are cooked, place them on the paper kitchen towel to soak up any extra oil. Then move them to a different plate or bowl and sprinkle with some icing sugar.
9. Done! How proud of yourself are you now? I was a lot when I made them without my Mum for the first time.