During the duration of the making and eating of these fried balls of yum I came to the conclusion that ‘bomboloni’ is an incredibly fun thing to say. I also came to the conclusion that bomboloni is mother-effing scrumptious.
“What the hell is bomboloni?” you may ask. Well, you uneducated fool, bomboloni is a fried dough snack popular in Italy, Tuscany to be exact (and uh, sorry for calling you a fool, I was just kidding). Its kind of like a beignet (I made those a few months ago, click here to see), or zeppole. They’re more like donut holes, or “Munchkins” from Dunkin’ Donuts, than actual doughnuts. You can fill them with chocolate cream, or pastry cream, or even jam. You could drizzle them with melted chocolate and powdered sugar, or dip half of them in a glaze of some sort. You could also probably have them plain. However not all bomboloni is sweet- some can be filled with cheeses and such (just like beignets can be filled with meat and cheese). But I prefer the sweet kind of fried dough, myself. So these particular bomboloni’s are not covered in powdered sugar, oh no. They are spiced sugar bomboloni’s; coated in sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger.
This is a piece I like to call ‘Bomboloni Bowls.’
I cut this recipe out of Blueprint magazine from the November/December 2007 issue. Sadly, Blueprint is now closed, but you’re lucky I saved this recipe, because you can now be cool enough to have found a recipe for a dessert called ‘bomboloni’ as well.
SPICED SUGAR BOMBOLONI
Makes 25 doughnuts
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons milk
- 4 envelopes plus 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 large eggs
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Heat 1 cup water and the butter in a small saucepan until butter melts. Set aside to cool.
- Combine milk and yeast in a large bowl; whisk to dissolve yeast. Add eggs. Do not mix.
- Add flour, sugar, and salt in that order. Do not mix.
- Add the butter mixture and mix until just combined.
- Wrap bowl tightly with plastic. Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 2 days.
- Place dough on floured surface and gently roll out to about 1 inch thick. Cut out circles of dough with a 2-inch round cutter. Place on a well-floured, parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Heat at least 3 ½ inches of oil in a pot until 325 degrees. Fry bomboloni in batches, turning once, until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Remove, and drain on paper towels.
- Dredge in spiced in sugar. To make the sugar, combine 1 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, ¼ teaspoon allspice, and 1 teaspoon nutmeg in a small bowl.
Serve these babies with some espresso and you’re good to go.
Mine did not turn out completely round, like little balls, but I don’t think there’s really a shape qualification for these anyway. You could make them into balls by rolling the dough, if you really want. The spiced-sugar is ah-mah-zing, but I did some with powdered sugar too, because I’m a sucker for a zeppole-style taste, as you can see below. I omitted the cloves from the sugar mix because I don’t like the taste of cloves. Reminds me of the dentist.
Just a tip: make sure they’re cooked all the way through. You don’t want a messy, uncooked middle. They’re going to get pretty dark on the outside before they’re totally done. Just don’t burn them. If they aren’t cooking through properly, your oil isn’t hot enough or deep enough.
I also think it made way more than 25. But I rolled my dough thinner than 1 inch, so duh.