So, folks …these kinda look like doughnut holes, right? Their name or label isn’t important. The best thing about these guys is that they’re gluten-free! But really, I guess you could call them whatever you like. If you’re Italian, they’re small zeppole. The Polish gang (count my husband as one of that group) would prefer mini pączki. Then there are the French folks to consider …especially those in New Orleans. They would call these round beignets. No matter what the name, these little-fried balls of dough are gluten-free and delicious!
You’ll need a 1-pound portion of prepared Gluten-Free Brioche Dough to make approximately 20 zeppole measuring about 2-inches each in diameter. As always, it is essential to have plenty of rice flour handy when rolling out this dough. It tends to be quite sticky, so you’ll want to sprinkle that rice flour freely, not only directly onto the dough, but on the work surface and rolling pin.
I used a 2-inch round cutter to form each zeppole, but you can alter these to your preferred size or shape. While working with the dough, preheat the oil to about 360° to 370°F and line a baking sheet with several layers of paper toweling. The zeppole will cook quickly so it helps to have it all lined up.
On a side note, the oil will be fairly clean after frying the zeppole. Once it has cooled, pour it through a strainer into a tempered glass Ball Jar and label it as “Gluten-Free Oil” along with the date. It can be re-used for more zeppole at a later date or maybe for french fries. You get the idea. Most importantly, since the label states that it is gluten-free, you will have no cause to be concerned about cross-contamination when re-using it. For best results, store the jar in the freezer or refrigerator for up to 2 months. Check out what the folks at Cooks Illustrated have to say on the subject.
While still warm, roll these cuties in granulated sugar and serve immediately with a bowl of Nutella for dipping. Another option …the zeppole can be coated with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar.
fried zeppole (gluten-free)
Inspired by Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day
You will need one pound of Gluten-Free Brioche Dough for this recipe.
- 16 ounces prepared Gluten-Free Brioche Dough (grapefruit-size portion)
- rice flour, for dusting
- neutral vegetable oil, for frying
- granulated sugar, for dusting
- Nutella, for serving (optional)
Dust the surface of the prepared Gluten-Free Brioche Dough with rice flour and pull off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece. Dust the dough with more rice flour and quickly shape it into a ball.
On a flat floured surface, press or roll out the ball to a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. As you roll out the dough, add rice flour as needed to prevent sticking. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut the dough into round shapes. Gather up the excess dough and roll it out once again until all is used.
Meanwhile, fill the saucepan (or electric deep fryer) with at least 2 inches of oil. Bring the oil to 360° to 370°F as measured with a candy thermometer.
Carefully drop the dough rounds in the hot oil, four or five at a time, so they have plenty of room to float to the surface. Do not overcrowd or they will not rise properly. After about 2 minutes, gently flip them over with a slotted spoon and fry for another minute until golden brown on both sides.
Using the slotted spoon, remove the zeppole from the oil and transfer them to the lined baking sheet to drain. Repeat with the remaining dough until all the zeppole are fried.
Dust generously with sugar and serve immediately while still warm.
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