Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mekitzi / Мекици

Mekitza (Bulgarian: мекица, also transliterated as mekica or mekitza; plural mekitsi, mekici, mekitzi) is a traditional Bulgarian deep fried bread, made of kneaded dough. The dough is made from flour, eggs, yoghurt/milk, a leavening agent, water, salt, and oil, and mekitza is traditionally served with jam, honey, white Feta cheese (sirene) or yogurt.

Mekitza is traditional breakfast dish and is very similar to Hungarian lángos, or the popular fry bread, doughboys, elephant ears, whale’s tails, tiger ears, pizza frita, buhta, frying saucers, and East Indin poori or bhaturas bread.

After the dough rises, it is divided into small balls, spread into circles and fried in fat.
A recipe from Silistra* consists yoghurt and bread soda, one from a village near Stara Zagora* uses yeast and yoghurt, and a recipe from Aytos* suggests using yeast and milk. It is recommended that the shaping of mekitzi before their frying should be done with wet or oily hands.

When served, mekitza is often powdered with sugar or garnished with jam or sirene -white Feta cheese. The name is derived from the Bulgarian root “mek” ("soft"), referring to the dish's texture and “itsa” is a Slavic feminine suffix.

*Silistra, Aytos, and Stara Zagora are different cities in Bulgaria.
                                                                mekitzi with strawberry jam

8 oz water
1 tbsp dry active yeast
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of salt
2 oz milk
2 cups all-purpose flour

Mix the yeast with the sugar, salt, milk and water in pitcher.

Sift the flour into a large bowl.

Add the yeast mixture and mix to dough.

Place the dough in oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave to rise in warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.

At this moment you can save the dough in refrigerator and make mekitzi on the next morning or just fry them right the way.

Divide into equal pieces (about size of an egg) and shape with oiled palms into flatten discs.

Heat oil to a depth of 1 cm/ ½ in a deep frying pan and slide one mekitza at a time into the pan.

Fry for about 30 seconds, turn over and fry for another 20 seconds.

Keep warm the already prepared mekitzi while frying the remaining ones. Serve immediately, while warm.

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