L'undici novembre si festeggia in alcune regioni d’Italia San Martino. Il piatto tradizionale in onore del santo sono le zeppole. Queste possono essere preparate in versione dolce o salata, a seconda dei vostri gusti. La guarnizione tradizionale è lo zucchero, altri utilizzanto zucchero e cannella, o miele. In alcune regioni le zeppole si mangiano anche salate aggiungendo all’interno della pasta ricotta, acciughe, prosciutto e formaggio, spinaci ed altri ingredienti salati.
San Martino is celebrated in Italy on November 11. Zeppole are the traditional sweet or salty dish made throughout Italy. The preparation of the dough is the same for both; the salty or sweet comes at the end of the preparation depending on the topping you decide to put on them (or in them!). The most traditional topping is sugar, others use sugar and cinnamon, or honey. In some regions zeppoli are filled with ricotta, or anchovies, ham and cheese, spinach and other salty ingredients.
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon active dry yeast, diluted in l/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon lukewarm water
Salt to taste
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Oil for frying
Additional granulated sugar, spread on a plate
In a large bowl combine 1 cup of the flour, the diluted yeast, and a pinch of salt into a soft batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
Add the remaining flour, eggs, butter, and sugar to the batter, and mix well to incorporate. Knead the dough by hand or with an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, until it is smooth, soft, and pliable, and just a bit sticky, 5 to 6 minutes by hand or 2 to 3 minutes with the mixer. Place the dough in a light floured large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until it has double in volume, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Transfer the dough to a wooden board and flatten it down with your hands. Knead it lightly for a minute or two. Divide the dough into 2 or 3 pieces. Flour your hands lightly and roll out each piece of dough with a light back and forth motion into a roll about the thickness of a thin sausage. Cut each roll into 1 inch pieces and place them on a lightly floured platter or cookie sheet.
Pour 2 inches of oil in a medium-size saucepan. When the oil is very hot (375 degrees on a thermometer), drop a few pieces of dough at a time into the hot oil. When the fritters are golden on both sides, remove them with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Roll the fritters in the additional sugar, pile them on a serving platter and serve hot.
Makes 45 to 50 Fritters.