I am ending my breakfast series on a sweet note with a popular Tunisian street food eaten for breakfast known as Bambalouni. The name for this delicious, sweet treat comes from an Italian word for donut, Bomboloni. Let’s face it, everybody loves fried dough, it is a universal love language!
In Tunisia, Bambalouni is sold as a street food, and is most famously sold in the seaside city of Sidi Bou Said, with many considering those who haven’t tried it there as not having visited the city at all! While this can be and is eaten throughout the day, many Tunisians have this with a cup of coffee for breakfast, giving them a surge of energy at the start of their day.
While it would be amazing to have these by the seaside in Sidi Bou Said, they are incredibly easy to make at home, with ingredients that we always have on hand. Like most donuts. They are a yeast-based dough, and that is the key to their fluffy interior, so you want to make sure your yeast is activated in water first before you add all of your flour. Speaking of your flour, you want to add it in gradually and once it is all added, it is left to rise. This is meant to be a sticky dough, so it is best to dip your hand in a bit of oil when dividing these into balls and frying them. If it is way too sticky to work with and hold shape, add a bit of flour just until you can work with the dough, otherwise they’ll lose their fluffy interior. They are either formed into rings or lightly stretched and placed into the oil, with the size being left up to personal choice. Once they are golden brown, they are sprinkled with sugar, adding extra crunch, with some opting to drizzle them with honey. Whatever shape or size you make these in, I can guarantee they’ll go down a treat!
500 g flour
350 ml warm water
2 tbsp yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Oil for frying
- In a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer if you’re using one, add in the yeast, sugar and warm water. Mix together, making sure to scrape the bottom if you’re using a mixer, cover, and leave for 5 minutes for the yeast to activate.
- Add in the salt and then add in the flour gradually, mixing between each batch. If the dough is too dry, add a bit of water, and if it is too wet, add a bit of flour. It should be like a thick, sticky batter.
- Cover and leave to rise for about an hour.
- Once risen, push down the dough and divide them into equal balls. This dough makes 7 medium Bambalouni, but this will vary depending on the size you choose to make.
- Heat your oil in a small pot, and then stretch each ball out slightly in your hands and lower carefully into the oil. You can choose to make them into rings as well.
- Once golden brown on one side, turn over to the other and fry until cooked.
- Remove from the oil and place in a sieve for a few seconds to drain the excess oil, then dip in sugar or drizzle with honey and enjoy!