ZEPPOLE (Graffe) - Italian doughnuts recipe & history - all you need to know!
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 1 Lb (450 g) all-purpose flour
  • 7 oz (200 g) golden potatoes, peeled and boiled
  • 1 organic lemon
  • 1 organic orange
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 drop vanilla extract
  • 1/4 oz packet (7 g) active yeast
  • 5.5 tbsp (80 g) butter
  • 1/2 cup (115 g) sugar (plus 1 cup for the decoration)
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) whole milk
  • 1 tsp (5 g) table salt
  • 1.5 Qt (1.5 Lt) Sesame or peanuts oil
  1. FIRST STEPSFirst of all, chop the butter, pour it in a bowl and let it soft into a turned off oven with the light on: you want the butter soft, not melted.After that, melt the yeast into the room temperature milk along with a pinch of sugar.Then, peel and mash the boiled potatoes.Finally, grate the lemon and the orange peel, avoiding the under skin white part.
  2. ZEPPOLE MIXTURENow, sift the flour and pour it into a bowl along with the mashed potatoes, the lemon and orange peels, the eggs, the vanilla extract, the milk with the yeast, the softened butter, and the sugar. Knead the mixture with your hands until obtaining a smooth and consistent dough, adding the salt on the halfway. To obtain the perfect texture, you want to knead the dough as less as possible.Once ready, model the dough into a ball, place it in the bowl, and wrap the bowl with plastic. Let the dough rise 30 minutes into the turned off oven.
  3. SHAPING ZEPPOLEAt this point, divide the dough into 2 oz balls, then cover with a kitchen towel. Now you need to decide which shape for the zeppola you prefer:A) the classic one: a ribbon also called Graffa. To prepare this, shape the ball into a log, then pinch it creating an eyelet.B) the doughnuts: flatten a little the ball, then create a hole in the center with your finger. Finally, enlarge the hole shaping a doughnut.Shape all the ball, then place the Zeppole over a parchment paper lined with a little of the flour. Give enough space between the fritters to ease the rising. Cover the Zeppole with a kitchen towel and let them rise 60 to 90 minutes until they double their size or so.
  4. FRYING ZEPPOLEOnce ready, pour the oil into a deep saucepan, then place over medium heat. For a perfect fried Zeppola, you need to maintain the oil temperature between 330° F (165° C) and 345° F (175° C).Now, pour the Zeppole very gently into the oil and deep fry 3 or 4 at a time. Deep fry the fritters 2 or 3 minutes per side, then raise with a slotted spoon and let them rest a minute over a paper towel. Finally, poach the Zeppole still hot into the sugar to obtain a sweet crust on both sides.
  5. SERVING ZEPPOLEServe the zeppole immediately or store into a metal box or under a glass dome on room temperature up to a couple of days.
Recipe by philosokitchen at https://philosokitchen.com/zeppole-italian-doughnuts-graffe/