Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas morning -- zeppole

I was up early this morning -- and standing at my stove frying zeppole, small twists of dough, drizzled with honey and sugar.  These were my grandmother Catherine's specialty at Christmas.  Very Neapolitan. 

This recipe makes a lot of zeppole.  Feel free to halve these proportions.

5 c             flour
1 t              baking powder
2 c             boiling water
2/3 c          oil
1 t              vanilla

Mound the flour in a deep mixing bowl.  Add baking powder.  Pour in the boiling water, the oil, and the vanilla.  Mix well.  The dough will be sticky at first, but as it is mixed it will become less so.  Turn out onto a board and knead gently for a couple of minutes.  Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes. 

Cut the ball of dough into 8 parts.  Roll each part into a long rope and cut the rope into 1-inch lengths.  Roll each bit further into a slim log, the size of your little finger and about 2 to 3 inches long.  Cross the ends into a little bow.  Set aside.
A portion of the rested dough.

Rolled into a rope. 

 Cut into small dumpling-sized sections. 

 Rolled out and twisted into a bow.  

Lined up on a baking sheet, ready to fry.

Fry the bows in deep hot oil, until lightly brown.  Do not overcook.  Drain well on paper towels.  Transfer to a serving bowl.  Warm some honey to thin it out (a microwave does this best) and pour the honey generously over the zeppole.  Sprinkle with granulated sugar.  A unique and delicious Christmas treat.

Frying the zeppole in hot oil.  

Draining on paper towels.

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