I think every Romanian has had Scovergi at least once in their lifetime. They are a staple in the Romanian cuisine. The scovergi are made with bread dough, that is fried. Doesn’t sound too healthy, and this is why I haven’t made these in years. This time I’ve tried to fry them at low to medium heat in a shallow oil bath. It worked. Even though they were fried, the scovergi were not oily. Also, the lower heat makes them rise a bit more. I will definitely make them again soon.
To make them, I’ve used a mix of white and wholemeal flour. I ran out of strong wholemeal. If I had any, I would have made a 50/50 mix. For the dough, I’ve used my stand mixer. It’s so easy that I use it every single time. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can knead by hand. It will be a bit harder, so I would recommend making less dough. The ingredients are for 12, which can be a lot, is the equivalent of two loafs of bread. Use half of the ingredients if you think you’ll end up with too many scovergi.
Ingredients for 12 scovergi:
– 400g wholemeal flour
– 500g strong white flour
– 14g Easy Bake yeast
– 5g sugar
– 600ml lukewarm water
– 2 spoons of oil
– oil for frying
In the stand mixer bowl, weight in the flour. Make a well and put the yeast and the sugar. Add a bit of water, around 150ml and mix with a spoon. Leave the ferment to rise for 10 to 15 minutes. It’s ready when it starts to make bubbles. You can skip this step, but I had time, so I’ve decided not to skip it.
Now pour the rest of the water, the oil and start mixing at low speed for 1 minute. Add the salt and increase the speed. Knead the dough for 7 minutes. Transfer it in a large oiled bowl, cover it with a thick tea towel and leave it to rise until it’s doubled in size. It can take between 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how warm is the kitchen.
Tip the dough on a floured worktop. Cut it in 12 pieces. If you want all the pieces to be exactly the same, you have to weight them. I went with the rustic approach and I didn’t put them on the scale. Flatten each dough ball using a rolling pin. Leave on the floured worktop and cover with a tea towel. Leave to rise for another 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, you can heat the oil gently in a frying pan. It should stay to low to medium heat. The lower the temperature, the better. But it has to be hot enough to fry the bread. Dust the excess flour from the scovergi and put one by one in the heated oil. Leave to fry for 1 minute and a half to 2 minutes, flip and let it fry on the second side for another minute. Take the scovergi out of the oil and put them on a paper towel to remove the excess oil.
As you can see, the scovergi are very easy to make. They rise beautifully and they are something really different to try.