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Kiachln - a Tyrolean specialty

Hearty, but incredibly seductive and tasty – these are Kiachln, a typical Tyrolean yeast dough specialty that can be enjoyed sweet or savory.

Kiachln Tirol
Kiachln Tirol - © iStock

The Danube Monarchy was a multi-ethnic empire and therefore also a melting pot, where the most diverse cooking traditions and cultures met and, if necessary, mixed very creatively. Tyrol, as a classic transit country, has always gladly absorbed inspiration from all directions in its cuisine and further developed it into its own creations. The popular strudel originally comes from Croatia, while the dumplings come from the southern German region. When it comes to desserts, the Bohemian influence is undeniably dominant in Tyrol.

In its social structure, Tyrol was shaped by agriculture on the one hand and mining on the other. This means that Tyrolean cuisine is traditionally one of hardworking people, so the typical dishes here are mostly hearty and robust. The Kiachln are a wonderful example of this. Essentially, the Kiachl is a piece of yeast dough that is deep-fried in hot fat. In essence, it is very similar to the Bohemian Liwanzen or Dalken, as well as to the donuts. Characteristic of the Kiachln is the indentation in the middle, which is created by pulling the dough beforehand. This indentation is filled with lingonberry jam or sauerkraut after baking, as there are many variations of Kiachln: sweet and savory.

Originally, Kiachln were a festive dish that was only served on special occasions. Today, however, as with so many things, people are more generous, and Kiachln can be found throughout the year, at fairs and Christmas markets as well as in fine restaurants. Kiachln are extremely popular among the Tyroleans.

Why not try it yourself?

The preparation is basically simple, but - as is often the case with yeast dough dishes - it requires some practice and experience to ensure that the Kiachln turn out really perfect. For the basic recipe, you need ½ kg of flour, 2 dag of yeast, 30 g of sugar (only for sweet Kiachln), ¼ l of milk, 2 egg yolks, 2 tbsp of rum, and a pinch of salt. Depending on your taste, you can add more spices, such as anise. From this, you prepare the yeast dough, which you let rise for about 30 minutes until it has doubled in size. Then you scoop out balls with a spoon, which you let rise again covered. Then you pull the Kiachln by hand so that they get a bulge at the edge and the indentation in the middle. With the top side first, you put them in the hot fat and fry them in it. Then turn them over and finish baking until golden brown. Filled with lingonberries and dusted with cinnamon and sugar, the Kiachln are simply irresistible.

Bäuerin Gretl A tip from the farmer Gretl, who runs a farm in Tyrol with her family.

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