Chef Gianluca Deiana: Frittelle, traditional Italian Christmas donuts
Prep. time: 40
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Difficulty: 2 out of 5
Serve: two dozen
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp dried yeast or 1 oz fresh yeast
8 oz water, room temperature or little warmer
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp orange peel
oil for deep frying
sugar for coating
Put the yeast in the water and set aside for 5 minutes.
Place the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl; mix together and after the yeast is ready, pour the water and yeast mixture into the bowl along with the juice and peel, and mix by hand until a very sticky dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until at least doubled. Dough should be sticky.
Place the oil into a deep pan and heat to a medium high temperature. Take a piece of dough and pull into a doughnut shape with a hole in the center. Drop into the hot oil and continue to make more. The frittelle will rise and cook quickly, so turn them as soon as they begin to brown on one side. Once they are cooked, remove them from the oil and place on paper-towel lined plate for a minute or two. Dip the frittelle into the sugar and cover completely.
Test the oil by dropping a tiny piece of dough into it. If it doesn't begin to fry right away, the oil is too cold. If the dough browns too quickly, lower the heat as the oil is too hot.
Also It is helpful to have another person frying the doughnuts while one person is shaping them, as it just too difficult to do both things at once, since the dough is so sticky.