Chiacchiere (Sweet fried dough)

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PRESENTATION

Chiacchiere (Sweet fried dough)

Chiacchiere are crispy and delicate fried pastries typical of the Carnival period and are called by different names according to the regions of origin: chiacchiere and lattughe in Lombardy, cenci and donzelle in Tuscany, frappe and sfrappole in Emilia, cròstoli in Trentino, galani and gale in Veneto, bugie in Piedmont, as well as rosoni, lasagne, pampuglie, etc. They are a very crumbly sweet dessert, obtained by rolling out very thinly a plain dough, which is then fried and dusted with powdered sugar for the final touch. Their rectangular shape, with two clean central cuts, makes chiacchiere unmistakable and an irresistible treat for children and grown-ups alike. Their presence in the shop windows renders the air immediately sparkling and cheerful, together with plain or stuffed castagnole, bugie and zeppole! Whether it's the first or the millionth time you taste one, every bite of chiacchiere is magic and it's instantly Carnival! Enrich your tray of Carnival treats with Carnival roses as an original alternative!

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients for about 40 chiacchiere
Flour 00 4.3 cups (500 g)
Sugar 0.3 cup (70 g)
Butter 3 ½ tbsp (50 g) - at room temperature
Grappa 2 tbsp (30 g)
Eggs 3 - medium
Powdered yeast for sweets 1 ½ tsp (6 g)
Vanilla bean 1
Egg yolks 1
Fine salt 1 pinch
Ingredients for frying
Peanut seed oil to taste
to sprinkle
Powdered sugar to taste
Preparation

How to prepare Chiacchiere (Sweet fried dough)

To prepare chiacchiere, sift the flour together with the yeast and pour it into a stand mixer fitted with a spatula attachment. Add sugar 1, salt, previously beaten eggs 2 and grappa 3. Mix all the ingredients well.

Replace the spatula with the hook attachment 4, add the vanilla bean seeds and butter 4, then continue kneading for 15 minutes until a homogeneous mixture is obtained 5which should be firm, but fairly soft to the touch. If necessary, you can add 1-2 teaspoons of water. Transfer the dough onto a work surface, and quickly shape it into a ball 6.

Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes 7. Next, divide the dough into portions of about 5 oz (150 g) each and start kneading each individually. Flatten a first portion slightly with the palm of your hand 8, sprinkle it with flour and roll it out with a pasta machine set to the widest thickness 9.

Fold the short sides of the strip of dough towards the center 10, then continue to roll it out using an increasingly thinner setting on the pasta machine each time, until it reaches a thickness of 0.88" (2 mm) 11. Do the same with the remaining portions of dough. Let the rolled dough rest for a few minutes and in the meantime bring the oil to a temperature of 300° F (150-160° C). Using a pastry wheel, cut the dough into 2-inch x 4-inch (5 x 10 cm) rectangles and make two central cuts on each shape, parallel to the long side on each one 12.

As soon as the oil has reached the right temperature, dip 2-3 rectangles of dough with the help of a skimmer 13 and cook them turning them on both sides until they are golden brown. Drain the fritters on a paper towel. Once they are cold, place them on a plate and sprinkle them with plenty of sifted powdered sugar 14.
Your chiacchiere are ready 15.

Storage

 

Enjoy the chiacchiere as soon as they are ready, but if you want you can store them for 2-3 days in a paper bag.

Interesting fact

Chiacchiere (or frappe) have an ancient tradition that probably dates back to that of frictilia, sweets fried in pork fat that were prepared in ancient Rome during the Carnival period; these sweets were produced in large quantities because they had to last for the whole period of Lent.

Tip

For flaky chiacchiere, the frying oil must not exceed 340-360° (170-180° C). There are several variations to the chiacchiere recipe, including the replacement of grappa with other liqueurs such as rum, Marsala, brandy, etc. Many people like to add grated lemon zest to the dough, and the dough can be cut into different shapes: diamonds, squares, knotted strips or other special types. These fritters are usually dusted with powdered sugar or sprinkled with granulated sugar and more recently they are also available on the market with chocolate swirls on the surface.