When in the afternoon we children were in the mood for a good thing to eat, we didn’t open the pantry to pick up things at random, grandma would organize herself in a few minutes and prepare us something delicious for a snack but if she did it in advance she made us the donuts that in Italy we call zeppole. Here in Campania, the zeppole have more than one use: excellent for breakfast soaked in milk, as a snack and at midnight with friends, accompanied by a glass of milk and mint syrup. Pastry shops compete to see who makes the best zeppola and everyone has their favorite, a bit like here in Ireland for Fish & Chips. Grandma’s were very good and we children were very greedy. Obviously the most popular was the one with Nutella. But now, follow the recipe and I recommend making a lot of them because they are never enough.
350 grams of strong flour
350 grams of very strong flour
50 grams of sugar
60 gr of butter
250 grams of warm milk
7 gr of salt
50 gr of brewer’s yeast
Grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
1 sachet of vanillin or pure vanilla
Peanut or sunflower oil for frying
Pour the warm milk into a large bowl and dissolve the brewer’s yeast. Add sugar and eggs and mix. Stir in the soft butter. Add the citrus peel and vanilla, finally the salt and flour a little at a time. Work the dough again for 15-20 minutes until the mixture is soft and elastic. Cover with cling film (I use a shower cap which I only have for this use) and let rise for about 2 hours. After 2 hours, resume the dough, knead it a little more and divide into pieces of 50 g each. Let it rest for another 10 minutes. Then form a stick with each piece that you will attach to the ends forming an L. Now let them grow until doubled. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a high-sided pan and fry the donuts a few at a time until golden brown, turning them often. In a bowl pour plenty of granulated sugar, if you like, add a few teaspoons of ground cinnamon, and roll the donuts until they are all covered with sugar, do it as soon as you lift the oil.
Don’t forget Nutella !!!