The frittelle, otherwise known as the fritole or zeppole, are Italian doughnuts traditionally served on Christmas Eve. The doughnuts are made from a sticky, flavored dough. They are often made with orange or lemon peels or raisins in them, but numerous variations can be made. They are deep fried then sugar is sprinkled on top for those who need that extra sweetness.
The doughnuts originated from the areas around Venice and Trieste, and there are generally two main ways of making them. The first type of frittelle, which are the most popular, is made from sticky, flavored bread dough with yeast. The other type of frittelle is made from choux pastry.
This recipe serves 2 people and takes about 2 ½ hours of preparation.
- 250g all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon dried yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange or lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon orange or lemon peels
- 8 oz lukewarm water
- Raisins (optional)
- Add yeast to water and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Add flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl and mix them until you get a consistent sticky mixture.
- Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture. Similarly, add your orange or lemon juice, raisins, orange peels, or lemon peels and mix by hand to form the dough.
- Cover the dough and let it rise. You’ll know it is ready when it looks like it has doubled. You can also check by pressing the dough with your knuckles until an indentation forms, and it is ready if the indentation remains on the dough.
- After that, add oil to a deep frying pan and heat the oil to about 1750C (340F). Essentially, you want medium to high temperatures so that the frittelle are cooked both inside and outside without soaking too much of the oil. You can drop a piece of dough into the oil to check the heat. If it doesn’t fry immediately, you need more heat, and if it browns too fast, you need less heat.
- Make the dough into doughnut shapes by hand and drop them into the heated oil once you’re sure it is ready. You shouldn’t take the perfectionist’s approach to shape. It is good enough to make a hole in the dough and have it in a round-ish shape.
- Turn the sides of the frittelle in the oil once it begins to brown. You should aim for that nice golden-brown pastry color.
- Once ready, remove the frittelle and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the oil.
- After that, you can cover them with sugar. However, this step is a matter of personal preference. That said, the dough won’t be very sweet, so if you want to sweeten them, you need this step.
- Serve while hot and fresh. For the best taste, eat them on the day they were made. They can be frozen but tend to lose their texture and become quite sticky.
Frittelle is an easy-to-make pastry for carnivals, Christmas Eve, the eve of Easter, or any other day if you wish. The recipe is easy to follow, and they are a delicious way to get a taste of Italian cuisine from the comfort of your home without any pressure. However, if you don’t want to put effort into it, you can find world-class fritelle at Bricco! Make a reservation with us in the North end to experience Italian delights for yourself!