The honey dipped, crunchy, Thiples (folds), originate from the Peloponnese. It is a Greek dessert where its main ingredient is thin dough. Kalamata and Mani have a long tradition in Thiples. Their history gets lost back in time. It is said that when eggs were difficult to be found in Mani, women made the dough with only water and flour.
The dough is folded into various shapes, fried in hot oil and finally dipped in syrup. Traditionally, honey is used instead of syrup and they are flavored with cinnamon and topped with chopped walnuts. Thiples can have various shapes, but the most common are spirals, bows and flowers. Tradition wants Thiples to be the dessert that is usually served at weddings, engagements and baptism, but little by little the custom spread and became the Greek Christmas and New Year’s dessert.
Eggs 6 large
Zest from 1 orange
Ouzo 60ml-2oz (or brandy)
High gluten flour (as much as it takes) it should take about 700gr (25oz) or 5cups
Vegetable oil for frying
- Start with the syrup as we need it to be room temperature when we use it. Bring to boil the water with the sugar. Boil for 5 minutes and add the honey. Boil for another 5 minutes and leave aside.
- Take the zest of one orange.
- In a bowl whisk the eggs with the orange zest and the ouzo.
- Add flour cup at the time and mix with a spatula until firm enough to knead with your hands.
- Empty the dough on the kitchen table, add flour as needed and knead until dough in not sticky in the center (check out how to test it in video). When ready cover the dough with food wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Cut the dough to 4 pieces and knead again adding flour as needed. Set a pasta machine to number 7, roll open each piece at a time with a rolling pin in an oval shape and pass it through the pasta machine twice on #7 and one time in #6, #5, #4 adding flour as needed so the dough doesn’t stick through the pasta machine. . If you don’t have a pasta machine use a rolling pin until dough is about 2mm thick.
- With pizza roller cut the pasta stripes to about 35cm (13,7inch) long and 8cm (3inch) wide. Place the stripes on a flour counter or linen table cloth. You can cut other smaller shapes as well with the trimming, like angel wings or plain rectangular shapes
- Heat the oil in a dip pan. You can test the heat with a small piece of dough; if it comes up straight way then the oil is ready.
- Very carefully (especially if it is your first time) lift a dough stripe over the oil and using a fork, twist the end around the fork, turning and rolling the dough in the hot oil until the whole stripe is around the fork dipped in the oil (see video). Using another fork remove the dough roll from the fork, holding the roll in shape in the oil for 30 seconds until is cooked enough to keep its shape (otherwise it will unfold again)
- Turn them in the oil a couple of times and move from the oil when golden in color. Place them on a drip rack to cool down.
- Dip 2-3 at a time in the syrup making sure that all sides are wet and line them up on a baking tray.
- Crush the walnuts in a food processor and sprinkle generously over the Thiples. Finish garnishing with ground cinnamon and place them in a decorative platter before you serve them.
Recipe, photos and video by: Chef Tony Kavalieros
Watch the video here