If not for a calender check from the MotH, the office boys would have had nothing sweet to celebrate San Giuseppe/Father’s Day this morning. How could I have forgotten?! So last night I whipped up a dozen zeppole for him to take to work, but this time I used a less bothersome recipe. If I’m to go on my sources, these particular zeppole are called zeppole napoletane, or at least that’s how you’ll find them made in Napoli. The most obvious difference in this recipe is the addition of cooked potatoes in the yeast-risen dough. If you recall the zeppole from last year, those were made from a cream puff type of dough.
I want to clarify that the image above is NOT the true zeppole that is typically fried, but rather a baked version to ease the guilt often associated with fried foods. I made those just a few hours ago on impulse. While they may not be as rich as their greasy and sugar-coated counterparts, overall flavor is not lacking in its soft bread-like texture. Actually, these could be way more hazardous to the diet, ehhh…because of their liteness, I already ate 3 of them.
Zeppole recipe with the addition of potato
2 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
grated zest of 1 lemon or orange
a good pinch of salt
2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
3 tablespoons warm water
1 large potato (10 oz.), boiled, peeled, then put through a ricer
2 large egg yolks
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
Combine flour, sugar, citrus zest and salt in a large bowl, make a well in the middle and add the yeast and 3 tablespoons water; stir to dissolve. Next add the potato, yolks and butter. Mix until combined then turn out onto floured work surface. Knead gently for a few minutes until well combined, using extra flour if necessary, or adding a few drops of milk if the dough is too dry. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a log 7-7½ inches long. To shape, cross ends over as shown in the picture below. Heed the following steps for either the fried or baked versions.
Fried – set each shaped piece on a generously floured work surface or platter with enough space in between. Cover with a light, dry cloth and allow to rest for 60 minutes. Fill and preheat (medium-low flame) a large frying pan with cooking oil to a depth of at least 3/4th inch. Gently pick up the proofed zeppole and slip into the hot oil. Fry each side, turning once, until golden brown in color. Drain on paper towels and roll in granulated sugar. Makes 24.
Baked – set each shaped piece on a parchment-lined baking sheet with space in between. Allow to rest for 60 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake the zeppole for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned. Cool completely before sifting powdered sugar over the top. Makes 24.