Zeppole Recipe is a classic Italian dessert of simple fried dough that is coated and tossed in sugar and served up!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bob’s Red Mill. The opinions and text are all mine.
Zeppoles are an incredibly easy to make treat that can be served up at breakfast or for dessert, just like Struffoli or pignolata. This classic Italian treat is delicious and is sure to put smiles on faces!
- CHEF NOTE: Zeppoles are pronunced as, zep-po-le.
WHAT ARE ZEPPOLES
Zeppoles originated in Italy and were created to celebrate the festival of St. Joseph, which means you may have heard the name Zeppole di San Giuseppe. While it’s really hard to pinpoint exactly how zeppoles were made, some folks believe they fried them in rendered fat or olive oil while others believed they were baked in a Napolitano style wood burning oven.
Some of the stories for zeppole indicate if they were fried, they realized it was way too expensive to do it so that didn’t become popularized until the 19th or 20th century. With all of this being said, I do feel like I was able to recreate a very authentic zeppole recipe based on what I already know.
- CHEF NOTE: If this zeppole recipe is truly from the 14th century then it would absolutely have been incredibly simple to make. That means they would have most likely used a starter as opposed to a block of yeast or active yeast like we do now-a-days. Lastly, you will find quite a few variations of zeppoles to be served up with some sort of pastry cream or jam, or even with ricotta cheese.
WHAT ARE ZEPPOLES MADE OF
Zeppoles in its simplest form are little fried dough balls that are coated in powdered sugar, nothing more. They are a softer pizza or bread dough, and firm up once fried. They are delicious and incredibly easy to make.
- CHEF NOTE: I believe zeppoles were created from leftover dough that someone fried up and coated in sugar, since so many classic recipes are created from what is leftover, in season or lying around.
HOW TO MAKE ZEPPOLES
When researching zeppoles, recipes were all over the place. From using eggs, to vanilla, to even baking powder, it was hard to zoom in on what these would have originally look like.
I can say though with confidence, this zeppole recipe is pretty close to the original. It’s only 5 ingredients, plus the oil for frying, and it’s super easy to make. In fact the recipe reminds me a bit of this Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe.
STEP 1: Add water to the bowl of a stand mixer along with some yeast and let stand for 8-10 minutes.
STEP 2: With the hook attachment on low speed, slowly add in the Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose flour and sea salt.
STEP 3: Knead the dough on low speed for up to 10 minutes or until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
STEP 4: Cover the dough and let it sit in a warm dry place for an hour or until it has doubled in size.
STEP 5: While the dough is rising heat up some oil in a large pot or in a deep fryer if you have to 375°.
- CHEF NOTE: Use a neutral flavored oil like canola or vegetable.
STEP 6: Using a small ice cream scoop or 2 spoons take out a small amount of the dough and drop it right into the hot oil and cook for 2 – 3 minutes per side or until golden brown all around.
STEP 7: Drain the fried zeppole on a sheet tray lined with a rack, paper towel or parchment paper.
STEP 8: Sprinkle on powdered sugar and serve immediately.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BEIGNET AND A ZEPPOLE
The main difference between a beignet and a zeppole is the dough as well as the shape. Zeppoles are a bit doughier then beignets and are a bit more firm. They are also made by drop spooning them into oil where beignets have a very distinct square or rectangle shape. Both are finished the same way with powdered sugar.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH ZEPPOLES
Zeppoles are often eaten as a snack and can be eaten at breakfast, like a doughnut. Zeppoles in Italy would be tradtionally served with espresso or strong coffee, which is how I like to enjoy them as well.
Zeppoles really are an easy to make treat that the whole family can enjoy!
HOW DO YOU WARM UP ZEPPOLES: The easiest way to warm up zeppoles would be in the microwave for :20 to :30 seconds but that may leave them with a weird texture. I suggest putting them on a pan covered in foil and baking them at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until warm. Re-sprinkle them with powdered sugar.
STORING AND FREEZING ZEPPOLES: Zeppoles, similar to beignets, don’t keep all that well but if you must keep them covered for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. You can however keep the dough for 2 days in the refrigerator before forming the zeppoles and frying them. I do not recommend freezing them.
*If you’re loving these zeppoles then please see my Buttermilk Chess Pie and be sure to drop me a comment below and a rating if you’ve had the chance to make this amazing zeppoles recipe*
Remember to check out my video below to see step by step instructions how to make these scones.
- 380 g 13 ½ ounces room temp water
- 13 g 1/2 ounce active yeast
- 650 g 23 ounces flour
- 16 g 1/2 ounce salt
- oil for cooking
- powdered sugar for coating
- Add the water to a stand mixer with the hook attachment and then whisk in the yeast until combined. Let stand for 8-10 minutes.
- Next, turn the mixer on low and add in the flour and mix until combined. Add in the salt.
- Knead the dough on medium-low speed for 10 minutes.
- Cover and let stand for 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Heat up the oil until it reaches 375°.
- Using a small ice cream scoop or 2 tablespoons scoop some of the dough out and add it to the hot oil and cook until golden brown and cooked through out, about 5-6 minutes. Be sure to turn then often so that they brown on all sides. Repeat until all the dough has been used and only cook 4-6 at a time in the pot so that they do not become over crowded.
- Drain the zeppole on a paper towel and generously sprinkle on powdered sugar and serve.