Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
In Italy, it’s tradition to celebrate Father’s Day with Italian doughnuts known as “zeppole”- a custom we (and dad) can get behind!
In Italy, most holidays hold food in great importance – and on Father’s Day (which falls on March 19th there!) the celebratory fare is Italian doughnuts. Specifically, there are two varieties: one called the the bigné di San Giuseppe, and the other known as a zeppola di San Giuseppe. They’re quite similar – both sugary fried doughnuts stuffed with pastry cream or ricotta cheese, but the zeppola gets a black cherry right on top. While those two doughnuts reign supreme on Father’s Day, streets everywhere in Italy are lined with tons of different fried pastries of all kinds. Sounds pretty good to us!
Celebrating Father’s Day with doughnuts might not be a “tradition” here in the ‘States, but it’s certainly not unheard of to grab a signature pink box of doughnuts to indulge on with the papa in your life. Why not take the custom a step further, and learn how to make Italian doughnuts for father’s day? (AKA, zeppole!)
What are zeppole?
A zeppole, in the simplest of definitions, is an Italian doughnut! It’s more similar to a beignet or a fritter than a traditional American doughnut. They’re light and airy, and impossibly delicious and addictive.
Giada’s coffee-glazed zeppole recipe is incredibly simple to execute: first off, there’s no yeast involved! The dough is more reminiscent of the French pâte à choux pastry (the one used to make eclairs, cream puffs, and even churros!). While it might sound complicated, it’s not – the steps are really easy to follow, and you can have zeppole ready to go within 30 minutes of getting started!
Just simmer water, sugar and butter in a pan, then add flour once it’s simmering. Stir until combined and no flour lumps are left. Next, move the dough to a mixer, and add eggs. Refrigerate the dough for a few minutes while you get your oil hot and your glaze ready. Fry up the little zeppole with a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon, rescue them from the oil with a spider strainer, dip in glaze – and ta-da, fresh coffee-glazed zeppole are ready to be eaten! And trust us – there are few things tastier in this world than a warm, fresh zeppole with a cup of hot coffee. Any dad will be glad to have this made for him on Father’s Day!
You don’t even need to dip them all in the coffee glaze (but it’s seriously delicious!). You can easily dust them with powdered sugar instead, or even dip them into some nutella or jam.