January 25, 2009

Crispedi (Sicilian Doughnuts)

Soon I'll be attending my first Melbourne Food Bloggers event, kindly organised by Duncan at Syrup and TangSarah at Sarah Cooks and Thanh at I Eat, Therefore I Am. Everyone is going to bring along a dish to share. Although I'm extremely nervous at meeting so many new and talented people, I'm definitely looking forward to tasting all the wonderful food prepared. I decided I would bring along Crispedi, little Sicilian doughnuts. Depeding on where you come from, they can also be called Zeppole or an array of other names. They are similar to the Loukoumades from Greece and as I found out, almost all mediterranean countries have their own 
version of this pastry delight.


You can flavour your crispedi with a multitude of flavours. I've even seen savoury versions with olives and/or anchovies. I prefer the traditional sweet version so I'm going to bring along saltana and aniseed (fennel seed).

So for the recipe (sultana flavour), this will make quite a few crispedi. I've never stopped to actually count how many, so you must forgive me.


3 cups of plain flour
1 tbsp dried yeast
pinch of salt
1 cup of warm water
1/3 cup sultanans
3/4 vegetable oil

castor sugar for dusting


1. Dissolve yeast in warm water (not too hot, about body temperature). 

2. Mix flour, salt and saltanas in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture and combine eveything together to make a wet dough, you may need to add a little extra water to make the mixture wet. It the dough is too hard, they turn out a little denser, but still yummy. Cover bowl with a tea towel and place in a warm spot. Let the dough prove until doubled in size.

Dough batter before proving


Dough batter after proving

3. Heat oil in a small heavy based pan until 180C. To make crispedi, and this is where it gets very messy, use your hands to squeeze walnut sized balls straight into the oil. In small batchs, cook until golden in colour (4-5 minutes).

Crispedi getting crispy and golden

4. Once they are golden, transfer to absorbant paper. While they are still hot, roll them in castor sugar. They are best eaten straight away, they'll keep their cispyness on the day of making, after that they became a little chewy.

"Take that you miniature blob!" They are no match to castor sugar


Roll, roll, roll your ball, glenty round the sugar.


1 basket full is never enough!

Hopefully everyone will like them, but in my expeirence they are quickly eaten and gain lots of fans.


claire said...

Oh YUM! My Nonna makes little morsels similar to these, we call them 'fritole' (we're from Northern Italy, near Venice). The ones she makes are brilliant because they're full of flavour (we don't much like aniseed but she does add grated orange zest which gives them an added zing), but never overly oily.

Looking forward to trying one (and meeting you of course!) at the BBQ... :)

Agnes said...

Damn, not only do I miss out on the bloggers BBQ but I also miss out on these doughnuts! They look fantastic - I think you'll be very popular. :)

Cindy said...

Mmmm mmmm - I can't wait to try these! See you in a couple of weeks. :-)

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

I absolutely love those small Italian donuts, especially dipped in a Zabaglione. Heavenly! You must have been the belle of the ball with these :)

Sarah said...

Lovely!! Can't wait to try one at the BBQ!

xox Sarah

The Caked Crusader said...

If only I could overcome my yeast and deep-frying phobias these would be EXACTLY the kind of thing I'd make! Yum

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge said...

Hi guys, THANKS for the comments!

Hi Claire - I tend to find every time I bring these along to something I always find a new name for them. Different name, but still delicious!

Hi Agnes - too bad you wont make it for the bbq :( You have the recipe now so you can make them at home!

Hi Cindy - I'm looking forward to all the wonderful foodstuff that will be on offer! Only a week and a bit to go!

Hi Lorraine - I've never tried them dipped in zabaglione, honey yes, toffee yes, but never zabaglione. That sounds interesting.

Hi Sarah - I Cant wait for the bbq too!!

Hi The Caked Crusader - Yeast and deep frying phobia....sounds like my worst nightmare. I love me some yeast deep-fried goodness. These are really easy to make, and they hardly ever splash so not dangerous at all.

billy said...

oh wow, I can see myself sitting down with a bowl of the doughnuts all to myself!!!

mellie said...

Oooh...my Nonna used to make them as well. I haven't had them in years!