These savoury Italian fried dough balls called Crispelle is a classic appetizer we offer with the aperitif especially at Christmas and New year. Inside the fried dough there is a small piece of anchovy, crunchy outside and soft inside ending with the salty bite of the anchovy or sundried tomato, perfect to serve with a sweet Spritz or Mimosa.
Dissolve the yeast in 1 cup of warm water and let it rest for 10 minutes until it forms a foam.
1 package yeast, 2 cups fresh water
Mix with an electric mix the flour, the yeast in the water and salt.
2 cups flour
Continue to mix for at least 5 minutes while adding the rest of the water.
The stirring should be very energetic and the dough should sound as it is slapped.
Once it is all combined and bubbling, cover it with a cloth and let it rest for 1 hour
Shaping the Crispelle
Place the ricotta and the cleaned and deboned anchovies in two small ramekins next to the dough
Take a spoon full of dough and place a piece of anchovy in the middle.
With a second spoon twist the dough until the anchovy is trapped in the middle
Drop the dough into the frying oil
10 anchovies stored in salt
Make several dough balls and drop them into the frying oil
Turn them to cook evenly
When golden, drain them and lay on a kitchen paper towel to absorb the excess oil
Do the same with the ricotta by putting a teaspoon of ricotta in the middle of the dough or with sundried tomatoes
The Crispelle should be served immediately while they are still warm. Place them into serving bowls and sprinkle with some chopped parsley.
If you want to eat something sweet you can sprinkle the Crispelle with ricotta with icing sugar.
Use anchovies stored in salt, I never buy the one stored in oil as I don't know what oil is used. Plus the salty bite inside the dough is what makes these Crispelle the perfect match to a sweet aperitif.
Mix the yeast with warm water and wait until some foam is formed before mixing it to the flour
The dough should be mix energetically, you should hear the noise of the dough been slapped
Once the dough rest it should have doubled the size
The dough is very fluid therefore cannot be shaped with your hands. That is why you need to use 2 spoons.
To better understand how to shape the dough, watch the video in the recipe below.
Beside anchovies, you can fill them with sun-dried tomatoes, ricotta or other gooey cheese. Make sure the filling is completely wrapped inside the dough.
Once you drop the crispelle into the frying oil, wait just 1 minute then turn them. If you wait too long a bubble of air will form on top and the Crispelle will turn back in the previous side.
Remove the Crispelle once golden and dry the excessive oil.