Zeppole with zucchini (italian donuts)

This salty version of zeppole will get you hooked at birth bite! They’re crispy on the outside and incredible soft on the inside. If you never tried fried pizza dough before, you don’t know what are you missing!

If you look for zeppole recipes you’ll find yourself with lots of sweet options of this delicious treat, but only a few about the salty version. So, keep reading and don’t miss also the video for making those crispy bites at home!

Zeppole with zucchini

What is zeppole?

Zeppole di zucchine (zucchini) are fried dough bites, very popular in the Neapolitan cuisine. The dough used is practically the same from their famous pizza. After the dough is prepared and cut into small bites, it will be fried and eaten as an appetiser or as street food.

In Naples you’ll find several types of zeppole. I am gonna talk today about the salty version. Sometimes those crunchy bites are prepared with different ingredients such as potatoes, dehydrated tomatoes, grated zucchini, fish and even seaweed ( zeppoline di mare).

Tips & tricks

  • Drain the zucchini very well. It depends on this that the dough will have a good texture after fried.
  • If you want some zeppole with a texture more similar to bread (rustic) use a strong flour instead of all-purpose.
  • Go easy with flour when kneading the dough or the zeppole will be too chewy and not as soft as they’re suppose to be.
  • To speed up times, use an electric mixer.
zeppole receta salada con calabacines. Con el centro esponjoso y fuera una textura crujiente

Zeppole main ingredients

FLOUR – All purpose flour is what I use for this recipe, but I have experimented with more strong flours and they come out really good.

ZUCCHINI – Italian zucchini. But maybe you would like also adding another ingredient like bacon, onions, etc.

WATER – It has to be warm. About 36-38°C / 97-100F

YEAST – Use 2gr of dry yeast or 6 gr of fresh (compressed yeast).

OIL – Extravirgin olive oil for the dough and canola or sunflower for frying.

Traditional Zeppole recipe

We start by preparing a poolish: In a medium bowl put the water, yeast and sugar, mix. Add half of the flour and mix very well trying not to leave a lot of lumps. Cover the bowl and let it rest for 30 minutes.

After the resting time, add the olive oil, then the remaining flour and salt. Begin to knead inside the bowl to combine the ingredients as much as possible.

Place the dough on a working surface and knead for 8-10 minutes or until you achieve a smooth elastic dough. Form then a ball.

Grease a large bowl with a bit of oil and place the ball of dough inside. Cover with cling film and leave to rest until the dough has doubled in size (one and a half hours in hot temperatures or up to 3 hours in cold temperatures).

Prepare the zucchini

Wash them well, dry them and cut off the tips, then grate them with a cheese grater and sprinkle them with a pinch of salt. Place zucchini in a strainer and leave them to drain out the liquid as much as possible for about 1 hour.

The dough

Dust with flour a working surface. Place the dough and deflate it a little bit.
Using your hands give it a round shape, like a thick pizza and place the well-drained zucchini in the center.

Start kneading, you will see that the dough becomes very sticky but it does not matter; continue to knead for a couple of minutes or long enough for the zucchini to integrate into the dough.

Form a ball and sprinkle it with a little flour, just enough to allow the ball to form and be able to take it with your hands without the dough sticking.

Place the ball on a large cutting board, cover with cling film and leave to proof between 30 and 60 minutes (depending on the temperature, if it’s too cold it will need about 1hr, less if it’s warmer).

After the resting time use your hands and a rolling pin to roll the dough in a 1cm thick round shape. Cut then the zeppole with a knife or a pizza cutter wheel.

Working on batches fry zeppole in a good amount of oil.

As they coming out of oil place them onto a plate with paper towels to drain them. Serve warm.

Zeppole with zucchini

This salty version of zeppole will get you hooked at birth bite! They’re crispy on the outside and incredible soft on the inside. If you never tried fried pizza dough before, you don’t know what are you missing!
PREP 30 minutes
COOK 15 minutes
TOTAL 3 hours 15 minutes
4 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 4
Author: Maricruz

Ingredients 

  • 250 gr all purpose flour (+ 1-2 tablespoons)
  • 130 gr zucchini
  • 260-270 ml warm water (36C° / 96F)
  • 2 gr dry yeast (or 6 gr fresh)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 25 gr extravirgin olive oil
  • Canola oil for frying
  • 5 gr sal (+ a pinch)

Instructions

Prepare a poolish:

  • In a medium bowl put the water, yeast and sugar, mix. Add half of the flour and mix very well trying not to leave a lot of lumps. Cover the bowl and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Make the dough

  • After the resting time, add the olive oil, then the remaining flour and salt. Begin to knead inside the bowl to combine the ingredients as much as possible.
  • Place the dough on a working surface and knead for 8-10 minutes or until you achieve a smooth elastic dough. Form then a ball.
  • Grease a large bowl with a bit of oil and place the ball of dough inside. Cover with cling film and leave to rest until the dough has doubled in size (one and a half hours in hot temperatures or up to 3 hours in cold temperatures).

Prepare zucchini

  • Wash them well, dry them and cut off the tips, then grate them with a cheese grater and sprinkle them with a pinch of salt.
  • Place zucchini in a strainer and leave them to drain out the liquid as much as possible for about 1 hour.

Combine dough and zucchini

  • Dust with flour a working surface. Place the dough and deflate it a little bit.
  • Using your hands give it a round shape, like a thick pizza and place the well-drained zucchini in the center.
  • Start kneading, you will see that the dough becomes very sticky but it does not matter; continue to knead for a couple of minutes or long enough for the zucchini to integrate into the dough.
  • Form a ball and sprinkle it with a little flour, just enough to allow the ball to form and be able to take it with your hands without the dough sticking.
  • Place the ball on a large cutting board, cover with cling film and leave to proof between 30 and 60 minutes (depending on the temperature, if it’s too cold it will need about 1hr, less if it’s warmer).

Make the zeppole

  • After the resting time use your hands and a rolling pin to roll the dough in a 1cm thick round shape. Cut then the zeppole with a knife or a pizza cutter wheel.
  • Working on batches fry zeppole in a good amount of oil.
  • As they coming out of oil, place them onto a plate with paper towels to drain excess of oil. Serve them warm.
Nutrition
Serving: 1grams
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