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Crostoli are sweet fried dough made during the carnival period that takes on different names depending on the Italian region, (chiacchiere, galani, crostoli) are the all same thing.
The peasant families in Friuli often prepared them in the period from January until Ash Wednesday. They was a cheap pleasure. In fact, eggs, flour, butter and grappa were ingredients that were always present in the house.
It was enough to buy an orange or a lemon. For frying, lard is used, which was the product derived from the slaughter of the pig that every farmer knew how to make at home.
In my family, when the women were getting ready, all three of them, my mom, grandmother and aunt, helped making them. After mixing them, each one had a task. Roll out the dough with the machine, cut the pieces and bring them to whoever was frying them. It was a team effort in which I participated to turn the handle of the pasta machine and to taste the first crostoli that came out of the pan.
Crostoli were among my favorite desserts and one of the few reasons to wait for the winter. Now they are available in the supermarket both fried and baked. The homemade ones remain unbeatable, perhaps because they require, in order not to struggle, the collaboration of family members and this gives more and more flavor.
4 heaping tablespoons of sugar
80 grams of butter (warm melted)
1 orange (grated zest)
lemon (grated zest)
400/500 grams of flour
5 tablespoons of grappa
5 tablespoons of rum
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 pinch of salt
peanut oil for frying
- The most difficult thing about the crusts is the long working of the dough.
It is also necessary to have a machine to pull the dough. The same as homemade pasta.
In a large bowl, pour the eggs, salt, sugar, grappa, rum, orange and lemon peel, baking soda.
- With a whisk beat the mixture, when it is well blended add the butter then slowly add the flour until the dough is consistent, pour it on the table and work it by hand, adding flour until it no longer sticks to your hands. Continue to work the dough by folding it and banging it on the table so that it becomes very elastic. Form a ball, divide it into 5 to 6 pieces leaving the others covered under a napkin. To work these pieces, forming a sheet, pass each piece at least three times through the machine roller in the first notch. At each step, fold the dough on itself, sprinkling with flour for the next step.
- Pass each sheet twice also in the intermediate notch. Finally in the finer one. Then cut the dough into rectangles that are not too large.
- Heat the peanut oil in a frying pan.
- When it is hot, pour in 3 or 4 rectangles, turn them after a few minutes and leave them to brown slightly. Remove from the pan and place on a paper towel. Continue like this to cook all the rectangles.
- When they are cold, arrange them on a plate, sprinkle with powdered sugar.