Auszogne, also called Knieküchle, is a traditional pastry of southern German and Austrian cuisine. They can be found in a Bavarian, Swabia, Franconia, Austrian and Thuringia kitchen or bakery
The Auszogne are usually made of pure yeast dough, this can vary regionally but also slightly. What makes this pastry different, is that the dough is shaped so that the cakes are very thin in the middle. They also have a uniform thick bead on the outside. In old times they were placed over the knee (Knee means Knie in German) and formed, therefor the name Knieküchle. Other names are: Kirchweihnudeln, Kerwa Kiachl, and Bauernkrapfen
They are fried in clarified butter or vegetable oil, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. An Auszogne pastry has a thin golden/brown rim on the bead as it floats on the hot fat during deep frying.
Auszogne were formerly baked mainly in the harvest season and on holidays, especially to the Kirchweih town festival. In Franconia, the distinction is sometimes made between “Catholic” and “Protestant” cuisine, depending on whether the depression (Catholic) or the elevation (Protestant) is covered with powdered sugar. The Tyrolean “Kiachl” is eaten with jam, or sprinkled with sauerkraut, or powdered sugar and is a popular dish on Tyrolean Christmas markets.
Today, the Auszogne are eaten for afternoon coffee. when they are still warm. That’s when they taste great. This pastry is especially good when freshly prepared, because Auszogne from the previous day are neither crispy in the middle, nor have a fluffy edge.
A traditional South German and Austrian pastry. Similar like a donut, but instead of a hole, the dough in the middle consists of a thin layer.
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp sugar
1 large egg
¼ cup melted butter
1 package active dry yeast
4 cups flour
Dash of salt
1 tsp lemon zest
4 cups vegetable oil or clarified butter (Butterschmalz) for frying
Powdered sugar for sprinkling on top
Sift the flour into a large bowl and make a hole in the middle.
Pour the milk into a saucepan and heat it on the stove over low heat. When the milk is lukewarm, remove the pot from the heat.
Attention! Do not let the milk boil. If too hot, it destroys the yeast cultures and the dough will not rise later!
Add one pack dry yeast ½ cup lukewarm milk.
Add the sugar. Stir, and wait 10 minutes until it bubbles
After 10 minutes mix ingredients in the flour pan into a small batter.
Now cover the bowl with a clean cotton cloth and leave it in a warm place for 10 minutes.
While the dough rests, melt the butter. Make sure that the butter does not get too hot.
When the resting time of the pre-dough is over, knead it with the flour and all the remaining ingredients.
The yeast dough should be soft, but not sticky and separated from the bottom of the bowl.
Make a dough ball, but leave it in the bowl and cover the bowl again.
The dough now gets another 30 minutes rise.
When doubled in size. take the dough out of the bowl and roll it out, about 1/3rd inch thick.
Take a glass or cup with a round hole of 3 inch of diameter and use it like a cookie cutter.
Cut out about 20 round slices that you place on the floured work surface.
There, the dough slices should go another 15 minutes.
While the dough slices are resting, you can heat the clarified butter (vegetable oil) in a large pot.
Then pull out each dough slice, so that the dough in the middle consists only of a thin layer.
Attention! pull slowly and carefully that he does not tear! The edge should have around a thick bead of ¾ inch. Overall, their diameter after removing about less than 5 inches
Now let the “Auszogne” slide into the hot oil one at a time.
Bake the dough golden brown on both sides.
Then remove the crispy pastry pieces from the oil and let it drain briefly on a piece of kitchen towel
The finished “Auszogne” are sprinkled with powdered sugar and served on a plate This pastry is especially good when freshly prepared, because Auszogne from the previous day are neither crispy in the middle, nor have a fluffy edge.
I have been living half of my life in Germany, then US, and traveling since then. My passion is cooking, painting and glass mosaic art. I try to re-create recipes I grew up with or tasted while traveling in Europe.
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