These easy Frittelle are made with a simple Italian bread dough. Fried until golden then sprinkled with a generous amount of sugar. You are going to wonder where they have been all your life!
Most of the recipes on this blog have in some way been with the help from my mother-in-law from Crepe Cannelloni to a delicious Beef Stew.
Why I am I sharing another bread recipe you ask? Well with great sadness my amazing mother-in-law, Maria passed away last Saturday. She hadn’t been well for the past 4 or 5 years, she suffered from Dementia.
Of course over the last couple of years her health deteriorated and because of it she would suffer chronic Bronchitis. She would take an antibiotic and life would go on.
But this time not even the antibiotic could help and she passed within 24 hours.
She has a special place in my heart, being one of the few who took me under her wing and was always kind and helpful to me, but not only me everyone around her.
She hated drama and would always say if you didn’t get along with someone, there was no need to be rude, just a “Buon Giorno / Buona Sera” was all that was required. Easier said than done sometimes, but not for her.
After thinking about all the wonderful recipes she taught me to make, I think the ones that stand out the most in my mind (believe me it is so hard to decide) the top three would definitely be her Homemade Crepe Cannelloni, Stuffed Sweet Ravioli (although she stuffed hers with a ricotta chocolate chip mixture) and of course these Frittelle.
My kids rate her recipes on how close they are to tasting like hers. Sometimes I am really lucky!
When we would all celebrate Easter together she would usually make her famous homemade bread and of course pizza. Doesn’t matter that we had just consumed a 6 course meal, our mouths were already watering for that fabulous pizza.
And of course she would never use a machine, it was all made by hand, her pasta too! And don’t get me started on her amazing veggie garden.
But this one time she turned to me and asked if I had ever tried a frittella? And of course I hadn’t. When she explained that they were just pieces of the risen dough, deep fried then sprinkled with sugar, I thought “ok, didn’t sound too special to me”.
Although I did have the Italian standing beside me practically drooling and telling me to just wait. I then discovered another Italian treat that proved, that the simple things really are the best. And these are exactly that.
How to make Frittelle
- In order to make them you have to start with a simple Italian yeast bread
- In a small bowl add the water and honey, sprinkle the yeast on top. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then stir to combine.
- In the bowl of the mixer whisk together the flour and salt.
- Make a well in the middle and add the yeast mixture.
- Start to knead for about 5 minutes, the dough will be smooth and elastic and pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and knead a few times into a ball.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and let rise for an hour or two.
- I divided the dough into two parts, 2/3 I made into a small loaf of bread and 1/3 I divided into 3 parts which I shaped into 3 small balls.
- Place the loaf and small dough balls on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, cover and let rise one hour.
- Make a few scores in the bread and bake.
- Flatten the small dough balls by pulling gently with your fingers to form a flat small circle.
- Deep fry in hot oil, then place on a paper towel lined plate for about 3 seconds, then either sprinkle with sugar or dip both sides in sugar.
- Best eaten warm.
What is the best temperature for deep frying?
Be sure to heat the oil to a temperature of 340F (175C). Try to keep it as close to this temperature as possible.The best oil to use are peanut, sunflower or canola oils.
Lower than this and they will be soggy and not cooked, too high and they will cook too much on the outside and not enough on the inside.
How to know when the dough has risen enough
With your knuckles or a couple of fingers make an indentation in the dough, If the indentation disappears, the dough needs more time to rise. If the dent remains, the bread is ready to bake or move to the second rise.
How to store Frittelle
Because they are fried they should be eaten as soon as they are made. Although the bread can be kept in an airtight bag and will last up to five to six days at room temperature.
More Delicious Bread Recipes
Without Maria sharing her love for cooking, I am pretty sure there would be no An Italian in my Kitchen, she taught me to absolutely adore Italian food and how to make it, I will be forever grateful, so thank you Maria, Rest in Peace, you will be missed!
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water* (175 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast (3 grams)
- 2 cups all purpose flour (250 grams)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
*lukewarm water temperature is 100-1051F (38-40C)
- 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar (more or less)
- In a small bowl add the water and honey and mix, sprinkle the yeast on top. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then stir to combine.
- In the bowl of the stand up mixer whisk together the flour and salt. Make a well in the middle and add the yeast mixture. Start to knead for about 5 minutes at speed #2, the dough should be smooth and elastic and pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and knead a few times into a ball. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, make sure to roll the dough in the oiled bowl so that is lightly covered in oil. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel, place it in a warm draft free area and let it rise for an hour or two. If the room is warm enough an hour should do.
- I divided the dough into two parts*, 2/3 I made into a small loaf of bread and 1/3 I divided into 3 parts which I shaped into 3 small balls. Place the loaf and small dough balls on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, cover again with the tea towel and let rise one hour.
*You could make all frittelle which would probably make about 12, or you could use the dough to make pizza.
FOR THE FRITTELLE
- In a medium size pot add about 2-3 inches of oil, heat to 340F (175C) then add the frittelle one at a time (depending on the size of your pot). Fry for about 2 minutes on each side turning a couple of times until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate, leave for a few seconds then either sprinkle with sugar or dip in sugar. Eat immediately. Enjoy!
FOR THE BREAD
- Pre-heat the oven to 400F (200C). Place a pan of water on the bottom of the stove. Score the bread a few time then bake the bread for about 30-35 minutes. Check to make sure it is done by tapping on the bottom, if it sounds hollow it is done. You could also use a long wooden stick to check for doneness. Immediately move the baked bread to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!
FOR THE PIZZA
- Pre-heat oven to 450F (250C). Top the dough with desired toppings and bake for about 15 minutes. Enjoy!
Marilyn McKie says
Sorry to hear this, she sounded lovely. ❤️💔
Hi Marilyn, thanks so much, she really was lovely. Take care!
Si , my mom always made similar , after making Pizza for the gang She made what she called Pizza Fritte shaped like a sausage fried in olive oil dusted with powdered sugar. what a treat. Also made bread sticks about 1 inch thick with dime sized pieces of Italian sausage poked into the surface then baked. so good dipped in her great pork rib gravy. you know spaghetti sauce. mom always said gravy. wit sausage meatballs and pork ribs no bone
Hi Joseph, wow those sound amazing. I will have to try it next time. Thanks take care!
Thank you for sharing such a beautiful post. Reminds me of my grandmothers. We made these all the time. They are so good!
Hi Janine, thanks so much. And yes so good. Take care.
That 212F you noted as the temperature for lukewarm water is the boiling point for water.🥵 At least this was bread, not the baby’s bathwater!
Which oil is best? I’m thinking the sunflower oil will have the lightest flavor.
Hi BC thanks so much, yes I should have written 100-105F not celcius. I use either sunflower or corn oil, usually sunflower though. Have a great weekend.
Andrea Wander says
Thanks so much for posting a recipe for frittelle! My Sicilian grammy, Carolina Caponetti, used to make them as a summer breakfast treat. On this hot, July morning, I was just thinking about how nice it would be to be called to the table… I missed those frittelle and her; but now I don’t have to miss the frittelle anymore… God bless your mother-in-law in heaven. Hopefully she and Grammy are sharing stories and sitting down to a nice meal 🙂
Hi Andrea, thanks so much, I hope they are sharing stories too! How wonderful that would be. Take care.
I am so very sorry for your loss. My prayers are with your family.
Thanks so much Elizabeth.
Gina D from Texas says
I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your mother in law. You were certainly blessed to have her in your life. I appreciate you sharing all the things you learned from her with us.
All your recipes look amazing and this is no exception.
Hi Gina, thanks so much, yes she was amazing and so glad you like the recipes.
Carmela Campagna says
My deepest condolences to you and your family on the loss of your beautiful mother -in-law. She sounds like a amazing lady.
Thank you for sharing all the wonderful receipies. I look forward to receiving them, as much as my family loves to eat them.
Again, my deepest condolences to you and your family.
Hi Carmela, thanks so much, yes she was an amazing woman. So glad that you and your family like the recipes.
Toni Vitrano says
Buon Giorno! Condoglianze a te e ai tuoi cari per la perdita della tua cara suocera, Maria. Thank you for sharing her wonderful recipes. I have learned a lot thanks to your blog. I lost my Sicilian grandmother when I was very young. She taught my German Mom some things, but I have been trying to learn Italian techniques and authentic recipes over the years. You have greatly enhanced my learning!
Hi Toni, thanks so much and glad I can share the recipes with you.
Luisa Bellissimo says
Sorry for your loss!
My Nonna use to make these effortlessly all the time and of course without a recipe!
Thanks for your mother in law’s!
I will definitely make these in the near future!
Love your site!
An Italian Canadian in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada
Hi Luisa, thanks so much, and glad you enjoy the site. And hi to Woodbridge. Have a great week.