Crispelle (Italian Potato Donuts)

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Probably my favorite Italian treat, these potato donuts are really like no other. We call them Crispelle, although they go by many names from region to region. They are often served savory & sweet, even stuffed with cheese, sauce and anchovies. These were often made at Christmas time or to celebrate the new year. I have such fond memories of making these with my Nonna in her kitchen and later on in mine. Make them for all your family & friends but beware - they are HIGHLY addictive!

Makes Approx 70


10-12 medium Potatoes (use a dry potato, rather than a waxy potato)
3-4 cups Cold Water
1 cup Vegetable Oil/Canola Oil
2 Eggs
2 tablespoons Salt
2kg Plain Flour
2 cups Warm Water
2 tablespoons Dry Yeast
1 teaspoon Sugar


Peel & boil the potatoes until cooked through (easily pierced with a fork)

Using a ricer process the potatoes while they are still warm into a large bowl. Alternatively you can also mash them very well with a potato masher, just be sure there are no whole pieces of potato left. 

Mix the cold water in with the potatoes until the mixture is very loose.
Next prepare the yeast. Add one teaspoon of sugar to the two cups of warm water and stir. Add the yeast and let it activate. It’s ready when it has bubbled up.

Add the oil, eggs and salt to the potato mixture and stir well. When ready, add the yeast mixture to the potato mixture and stir.

Mound the flour onto a wooden board or a stone bench top and create a well in the middle. Slowly pour the liquid mixture into the well of flour, mixing with a fork so the flour blends into the liquid from the edge of the well.

When the liquid has taken on most of the flour, use your hands to fully incorporate the flour, kneading it well. Add more flour as needed into order to get a bread dough like consistency. 

Cover with a clean cloth and leave to rise until double its size (approx 2hrs). Make sure the space is clear from air conditioners or open windows as that will significantly slow the rising process.

When the dough is ready cut it into strips and roll out into thick ropes, using your palms. Form these ropes into donuts by creating a circle and pinching the two ends together tightly. 

Place on a tray or on a bench top/table covered with a well-floured piece of baking paper or a tablecloth. Cover the donuts with another table cloth and leave to prove for another hour. 

To fry the donuts, heat vegetable or canola oil in a deep fryer or large frying pan. You'll know it's hot enough when you drop a small piece of dough in and it fry's to golden brown quite quickly. 

Place the donuts into the oil but don't over crowd the pan. Fry for one to two minutes on one side until golden brown then flip and fry the other side until done. Remove & drain on paper towel.

These donuts can be served either savory or sweet. Try them with a sprinkle of salt, drizzle with melted chocolate or honey. Even add some icing sugar & syrup - the options are endless. 

Enjoy xxx