Zeppole – Italian Doughnuts

Zeppole 3 (500x334)The wonders of pate a choux dough never ceases to amaze me. There are so many wonderful things you can make out of it – cream puffs,  eclairs, pastries, cake and even dumplings in soup. I knew you could even deep dry it and I’ve been wanting to try it for a while.

One evening, I suddenly got a craving for doughnuts. Or rather, it was very late evening, 23:30 to be exact. (Military time. That’s the nurse in me coming out.) Looking for an excuse, I asked my husband, “Honey, how would you like to have some doughnuts?” You know, as though I was about to start frying doughnuts in the middle of the night as a favor for my husband. HA.

He looked at me, astonished. “You mean NOW?”

I shrugged. “Sure! Why not?”

He’s used to this sort of thing though. I work at night. My schedule can be somewhat bizarre at times. I admit, I was recuperating after a few night shifts and wasn’t a bit sleepy.

So, there I was. Mixing up batter, at MIDNIGHT. Sergi just stood back, watching me, and laughed.

I had only one comment for him. ”You know you like being married to a crazy lady. I keep your life interesting.”

The results exceeded all my expectations. Crisp and light, they were the fluffiest doughnuts I had ever tried, like biting into a delicious, creamy cloud. I had no intentions of blogging about these little doughnuts, but they were so good, I whipped up another batch 2 days later and took pictures of the whole process. It was probably just an excuse to eat more of these scrumptious morsels, though. 

Recipe from Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients:

1 cup water

1 stick (8 Tablespoons) butter

3 Tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup flour

4 eggs

oil, for frying (vegetable, canola or peanut oil)

powdered sugar, to dust the zeppole

In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, sugar and salt. Cook until the butter completely melts.

IMG_5041 (500x334)

IMG_5047 (500x334)Add the flour all at once and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon, until the dough comes together in a ball. Continue cooking for a minute or two.

IMG_5048 (500x334)

Pate a choux dough (500x334)Place the dough in the bowl of a standing mixer. Mix with a paddle attachment, until you don’t see any more steaming rising up from the bowl.IMG_5055 (500x333)

IMG_5053 (500x334)

Add the eggs, one at a time, until they are fully incorporated. IMG_5058 (500x334)You can also use a hand held mixer, or even mix up the dough by hand.

IMG_5060 (500x334)

IMG_5061 (500x334)Meanwhile, pour in enough oil into a large, heavy pot (I use my Dutch oven). You should have at least 2 inches of oil, I usually use one full container of oil. Heat up the oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

IMG_5045 (500x334)

IMG_5063 (500x334)Transfer the dough to a large ziptop bag. Cut a hole in one corner. Slowly pipe out the dough and cut off snippets of the dough right into the oil. IMG_5072 (500x334)

You can also use 2 small spoons to drop bits of dough into the oil, or use a small portion scoop.

IMG_5064 (500x334)Be careful not to splash yourself.

Keep the temperature above 350 at all times, preferably 360-375 degrees. If the temperature of the oil drops too much, the doughnuts will soak in too much oil and taste greasy.

Fry the zeppole about 5 minutes, turning over the ones that don’t turn themselves over. IMG_5075 (500x334)Take them out of the oil using a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel lined plate, baking sheet, etc. IMG_5079 (500x327)When you’re done frying all the zeppole, dust them with powdered sugar.Zeppole 1 (500x334)

Zeppole 3 (500x334)

Zeppole - Italian Doughnuts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sweets
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) butter
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  • oil, for frying (vegetable, canola or peanut oil)
  • powdered sugar, to dust the zeppole
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, sugar and salt. Cook until the butter completely melts.
  2. Add the flour all at once and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon, until the dough comes together in a ball. Continue cooking for a minute or two.
  3. Place the dough in the bowl of a standing mixer. Mix with a paddle attachment, until you don't see any more steaming rising up from the bowl.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, until they are fully incorporated. You can also use a hand held mixer, or even mix up the dough by hand.
  5. Meanwhile, pour in enough oil into a large, heavy pot (I use my Dutch oven). You should have at least 2 inches of oil, I usually use one full container of oil. Heat up the oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Transfer the dough to a large ziptop bag. Cut a hole in one corner. Slowly pipe out the dough and cut off snippets of the dough right into the oil. Be careful not to splash yourself. You can also use 2 small spoons to drop bits of dough into the oil, or use a small portion scoop.
  7. Keep the temperature above 350 at all times, preferably 360-375 degrees.
  8. Fry the zeppole about 5 minutes, turning over the ones that don't turn themselves over.
  9. Take them out of the oil using a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel lined plate, baking sheet, etc. When you're done frying all the zeppole, dust them with powdered sugar.

 
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Comments

  1. Vitaliya says

    These were absolutely heavenly!!!! We sure did eat them up pretty quick at Andreys and Milanas place:))))

  2. says

    wow! yummy, is all I can say! I have my 3 little girls helping me at this moment by making them, it is such an easy recipe! It was easy to make, I am sure they will turn out delicious. I don’t have to put any baking soda/power?

  3. Tallya says

    Enjoy love birds! No more midnight cooking soon, just feedings and snuggles… you’ll love it! The crying will be welcome by you two as well because you know that babies cry only when they need something. Yahweh bless you and your babies!

    • says

      Definitely!
      Olive oil has a low smoke point, which means that it starts to smoke at a low temperature. It should never be used when cooking at high temperatures, especially frying. I listed oils that have a high smoke point in the recipe. These oils work well for frying. I’m sorry your doughnuts didn’t work out.

  4. Mariya says

    These look soooo yummy!! …Could I roll them into little balls with my hands, or would it mess something up??

  5. Mariya says

    Actually, never mind I already answered my own question lol: I made them today and I see that the dough is way too sticky am loose to roll it by hand, so great idea with the ziplock bag, Olga!! This recipe is definitely a keeper, totally love these “melt in your mouth” little donuts! :) thanks once again for a great recipe ;)

    • says

      Thanks for taking the time to let me know that you enjoyed the doughnuts! We LOVE them:). And yes, the dough is too sticky to roll out with your hands.

  6. Nadia says

    Hi Olga! Beautiful presentation and wonderful job with the photography. This recipe looks amazing! Cant wait to try it soon. I have a question, though… What brand is your dutch oven? I’m looking to purchase one soon, and I was wondering what brand you’d recommend. Thank you!

    • says

      Thanks for the kind words, Nadia.
      For my recommendations of cooking tools, look under the Shop tab at the top of my website. I have the dutch oven there. I use mine for so many different things.

  7. Natasha says

    un.be.lieve.able… These are SO good and easy to make that I am almost sad that I found this recipe!! Now I will want to make them every day, which is NOT a good idea… I usually don’t like donuts but today, the hubby wanted some and I was like, “Hey! Olga has a recipe online for donuts! Wanna try those?” He’s like, “sure!” And so… We made them… His conclusion was to never again buy donuts from Price Chopper… I ate one, then another, then another and then decided I better leave to another room before I eat them all!! They are sooooooo good!!!!

  8. Luba says

    Hey Olga!

    So I decided to try out this recipe today, but for some reason the dough was just too runny. I poured a cup of water, 1 stick of butter, 3 tbsp sugar and 1/4 salt, melted it and added 1 cup of flour. But I noticed the dough was not the same consistency as on your picture, so I added about 1/4 cup more flour. Then I figured I shouldn’t add any more, otherwise they won’t be fluffy. So then I beat it with the paddle attachment to make it cool, added the eggs one by one and on the third egg, the dough was just very runny. I decided to stop adding eggs at that point… and ended up making funnel cakes out of it, since it just wouldn’t hold any kind of shape.

    Do you know what might’ve went wrong? It did taste delicious though, even as a funnel cake :)

    • says

      I don’t know what the issue could be, since I wasn’t there to see it. Your eggs might be on the larger side. I use regular large eggs, not extra large. Usually, with this type of dough, that would be the problem.

  9. Mariya G says

    Do you reuse the oil? I can’t wait to try these I had them pinned since you posted but finally going to get to it and make it in the morning. I’m sure they will be awesome, my cousin already made them and told me how good they are:)

    • says

      Yes, Mariya. Strain the oil after you’ve let it cool through a coffee filter and store it until you make donuts again. I wouldn’t use it for french fries or chicken, etc, since they will have a slight taste of the donuts.

  10. Duana says

    I’m planning on making these for a birthday party. Is it ok to prep the dough the day before and then fry them the next day?

  11. Tanya says

    Olya, Thank you so much for this recipe. Another smashing success! It came together in about 10 minutes. This was my first time frying, so I was a little nervous, but everything worked out really well and my little one had 3 small plates with the hot cocoa. Thank you again, I really appreciate you taking the time to share with us your creations and findings.

    • says

      That’s so wonderful for me to hear, Tanya! Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know. I just love simple and quick recipes like this one.

  12. sara says

    okay so obviously i did something wrong. i made sure everything was correct however when i put the rolls of dough into the oils each ball turned black about 15 seconds in. what in the world did i do?

  13. Rita says

    These look delicious, but I have to ask, why does it look like milk in your sauce pan and the recipe calls for water?
    Thank you for your reply.

    • says

      When the butter melts, it mixes with the water and makes it look white. If you look on the first picture, you see that it’s only water with pieces of butter. The second picture is the water and butter melted:).

  14. Irina says

    Hi, can I use canola oil INSTEAD of butter for this ? I don’t use butter too often for baking and was wondering since the butter melts anyway, can I use oil in the first steps instead?

    Thanks so much !:)

  15. Sharon says

    These look fantastic & Im waiting to try them out but can you let me know what sort of flour you used, was
    it Plain or Self raising ??

    • says

      I would not recommend it, Ana. I don’t think it will turn out well. If you want to bake them, you should just make cream puffs. The texture of the doughnuts will be completely different if you bake them too.

  16. Veronica says

    Hi there! Just tried out this recipe but the center of my donuts were the consistency of a crepe and kind of eggy…I think the problem could be my oil temp. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks so much!!

    • says

      Did you make sure to have your oil at 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit? Also, did you cook the doughnuts long enough? There shouldn’t be any batter in the center. However, also keep in mind that these doughnuts are made with a pate choux pastry dough, not yeast or cake dough that doughnuts are usually made from, so they will have a different texture that the donut shops.

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