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crostoli

Crostoli

  • Author: Flavia Scalzitti

Description

Adapted from Italian Street Food by Paola Bacchia

If you cannot find superfine sugar at your grocery store, simply blitz some sugar in a food processor and measure out the quantity needed.

Special equipment: food processor (optional), rolling pin, pasta machine (optional, but recommended), fluted pastry wheel (optional), sharp knife


Ingredients

  • 5 ¾ cups (650 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons (85 grams) superfine granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup (45 mL) Grand Marnier liquor
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 3 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • ⅓ cup (70 mL) water
  • Vegetable oil, for frying (how much you use will depend on the size of your cooking vessel)
  • Powdered sugar, for decorating

Instructions

  1. Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. Keep the parchment paper readily available.
  2. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add in the beaten eggs, Grand Marnier, orange zest, vinegar, and water and mix with your hands (or a wooden spoon) until most of the mixture holds together. Alternately, you can mix the ingredients together in a food processor fitted with the steel blade (or the dough blade if your mixer has one).
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead a few times until the dough finishes coming together and is smooth and firm. If necessary, add more water a few drops at a time until the dough comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This resting time will allow the gluten in the dough to relax which will make the dough tender and easy to roll out.
  4. When you are ready to roll out the dough, divide the dough ball into quarters. Keep the dough pieces you are not working with covered well with the plastic wrap. On a lightly floured board, roll out a piece of dough into a rectangle wide enough to fit through the widest setting on a pasta machine. Roll the dough once through the widest setting (usually #1) and then fold the sheet of dough in thirds (as if you were tri-folding a letter). Run the dough one more time through the widest setting. Keep reducing the width of the pasta machine and feed the sheet of dough through each setting twice until you arrive at the last or second-to-last setting. Keep the board and the sheet of dough lightly floured at all times to prevent ripping or sticking. By the time you get to the last setting, the sheet of dough should be very thin (you should be able to see the shadow of your hand clearly through the dough).
  5. Using a fluted pastry wheel (or a sharp knife), cut the thin sheets of dough into even rectangles. Each rectangle should be roughly 8 cm (3 ¼ inches) long. Make a small slit in the center of each rectangle strip. Thread one end of each rectangle strip through the slit to make a bow. Place the shaped dough bows on a single layer (not touching) on the parchment-lined baking sheets (see picture above in blog post). As the baking sheets fill up, cover each layer with a piece of parchment paper and place more dough bows on the fresh sheet of parchment paper (don’t worry, you won’t squash the ones on the bottom).
  6. Repeat the dough-rolling, cutting, and shaping process until you have used up all the dough.
  7. Line a baking sheet with 2-3 layers of paper towels and set by the stovetop.
  8. Fill a cast iron skillet (or heavy-bottomed pot) no more than ⅓ to halfway full with the vegetable oil. How much oil you use will depend on the size of your frying vessel. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 350°F (180°C) on an oil/candy or instant-read thermometer. Cook 3-4 crostoli at a time for 30-45 seconds on one side, making sure not to over-crowd the skillet/pot. Flip each crostoli and cook a few more seconds on the second side, until the dough is golden. Remove the crostoli to the paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain and cool. Repeat this cooking process until all the crostoli have been fried.
  9. To make room for the crostoli coming out of the fryer, remove the drained and cooled crostoli to a large platter, bowl, or storage container.
  10. Dust the crostoli with powdered sugar just before serving.
  11. Storage: Store the crostoli (un-decorated) in an ample container, tightly sealed.

Notes

if the sheet of dough gets too long as you are feeding it through the pasta machine, simply cut it in half or into thirds to make it more manageable, but remember what setting you left off at for each piece of dough so you roll each piece out to the same thickness.