Christmas in Southern Italy is soft like a Potato Zeppole {doughnut}

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Does this recipe contain natural ingredients? Yes, it does. Is this recipe healthy? Uhm… yes and no.
It is healthy if you don’t go to sleep after eating it (also if you don’t eat fried food one month after and one month before :)). It is not healthy otherwise, especially if you get addicted to it (warning: this is likely to happen!).

It’s Christmas time: my family and I cook together for what is going to be the big dinner of the year. In no other occasion we would be all together in the kitchen. In Campania, the italian region where I was born, many dishes are being prepared exclusively for this traditionally opulent festivity. In particular, there is no Christmas without Zeppole, the special treat we indulge in only once a year.

Zeppole are an exquisite result of a dough made with flour and boiled mash potatoes, the key ingredient to give extra softness to the batter. You can shape the dough any way you want. I usually opt for the ring shaped bagel, leaving just a bit of dough to create ball shaped zeppole to fill with Nutella or cherry jam. The extra ingredients are the care, the family reunion and all the sinful hidden tastings while cooking.

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Potato Zeppole {doughnut}

Ingredients

  • 300 g mashed potatoes
  • 500 g flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 200 ml warm milk
  • 1 sachet active dry yeast
  • 1 lemon (zest)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sugar to cover the doughnuts

Instructions

  1. Boil the potatoes till you get a soft consistency.
  2. Smash the potatoes with a fork.
  3. Dissolve yeast in a glass of warm milk.
  4. Pour the flour on the table in a shape of a mountain, make a hole in the center where to put the eggs, yeast in milk, the rest of milk, a pinch of salt, sugar, the smashed potatoes and the zest of one lemon.
  5. Mix all ingredient together and knead till you get a soft dough, then cover it with a cloth and let it rise for about an hour.
  6. Cut the dough in small tubes around 10 cm long each, create the ring shaped doughnuts and leave them to stand a bit longer covered with a clean dish towel (this is to get a softer consistency). If you want jam filled Zeppole, create balls of dough (you will fill them with jam by using a syringe as soon as the batter is fried ). Fry the Zeppole in hot oil.
  7. When the doughnuts are golden brown (1 to 2 minutes on each side should be enough), quickly drain the oil to remove excess oil.
  8. Roll the warm doughnuts in the sugar to cover them on both top and bottom. You can flavor the sugar with vanilla and cinnamon. Serve warm.

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