Sfinge is an Italian fried pastry, also known as a zeppoli. This versatile dough is surprisingly quick and easy to prepare.
- 4 cups flour -
- 1 oz fresh yeast or 1 Tbsp dry yeast -
- 2 Tbsp sugar -
- 1 tsp salt -
- 2 cups water -
- Oil for dipping and frying -
- Simple Sugar Syrup -
- 2 cups water -
- 2 cups sugar -
- 1 packet vanilla sugar, or 1 tsp vanilla extract -
- Juice of half a lemon, or 2 Tbsp Lemon juice -
- Oil for deep-frying -
1. Place the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and water into the mixer bowl and process with the dough hook until the dough is very soft and almost liquid. Don’t be tempted to add even a drop of extra flour since what makes this dough so special is its softness and pliability. Its near-liquid state is what makes it soft and airy inside and crunchy and crispy on the outside.
2. Knead the dough for only 2 - 3 minutes. Working it any more will make the sfinge heavy and sticky, whereas your goal is a spongy and juicy dough.
3. Lightly oil the outside of the dough on top and cover with a plastic bag. Let the dough rise at room temperature until double in size, approximately 45 minutes.
4. Prepare a small bowl of oil into which you can dip your hands before handling the dough. Make small circles out of the dough and dip each one in the oil. Place each circle on an oiled surface to rise a second time.
5. Heat the oil for deep-frying to approximately 350F in a wide and shallow frying pan. The dough will be very soft and feel like it will fall apart. Using oiled hands, carefully place the dough circles in the boiling oil and fry for approximately one minute on each side (depending on the size of sfinge). Use a slotted spoon to remove the doughnuts from the oil and transfer them to a tray lined with paper towels.
6. These doughnuts are delicious rolled in a generous amount of confectioner’s sugar.Or, to be true to the sfinge recipe, follow the directions for the Simple Sugar Syrup.
Simple Sugar Syrup
1. Place all of the ingredients in a pot and stir over a medium heat until the sugar is entirely melted. Simmer the mixture for an additional 20 minutes, until the syrup thickens. Cool.
2. Dip the sfinges while they are still hot into the cold syrup and serve immediately.
This recipe makes enough for both the sfinge and the whole wheat doughnut recipes.