These golden, light bubbles that are bathed with thick honey (or syrup if preferred) as they emerge from the crackling cauldron of hot oil and served immediately, dusted with aromatic cinnamon, are glittering prize of a shopping trip or a visit to the market.
Made from humble ingredients of flour, yeast and water -basically, a leavened bread dough- they impress with their sumptuously pleasurable results. They are also made for Bayrams and other religious festivals and offered on large platters to visitors.
250 gr (8 oz) plain flour
¼ teaspoon salt
6 gr easy blend dried yeast or 15 gr
(½ oz) fresh yeast
270 ml (9 fl oz) warm water
½ teaspoon sugar -if fresh yeast is used
300 ml (½ pint) vegetable oil -or more if necessary
6-7 teaspoons good quality aromatic clear honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Sift the flour and salt in a bowl and mix the dried yeast in; add the warm water slowly while beating either with an electric mixer or a balloon whisk until all the water has been added and the mixture is smooth and lightly frothy, all in all about 2-3 minutes. Cover with a tea towel and let it rest in a warm place for one hour, until it has doubled its size and looks frothy.
If using fresh yeast, dissolve the yeast in about 60 ml (2 fl oz) of warm water (about 40C or 100F), add the sugar to activate it and let it stand in a warm place for about 15 minutes, until it starts to froth. (If the water is too hot it will kill the yeast.) Empty the dissolved yeast into the middle of the sifted flour, beating continuously. Add the remaining warm water slowly, while beating at the same time, until the mixture becomes smooth, soft and elastic. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for about 2 and a half hours until it rises and almost doubles in size.
Have the oil very hot but not smoking, using a saucepan or deep-fryer, and drop teaspoon of the mixture in it, 6-8 at a time. Dip the teaspoon into a cup of cold water between each addition to prevent stickiness. The lokma puff up and rise to the surface within seconds. Turn them over and as they become pale golden all over -it only takes a minute- lift them out with a slotted spoon and drain them on absorbent paper. You will have around 30 lokmas.
Serve 5-6 on each plate, dribble a teaspoon of honey all over, sprinkle on some cinnamon and serve immediately.
Albrecht, M. (1994), Turkish Cypriot and Mediterranean Cookery, Havellia Publishing, London.
Salaman, R., (1991), The Cooking of Greece and Turkey, Sainsbury Cookbooks, London.