Christmas crostoli

Food, RecipesLeave a Comment

crostoli-raw

It’s that time of year again when three generations of women in my family put an entire day aside to make the biggest batch of crostoli for the festive season!

A dozen eggs worth of batter, to be exact.

Growing up, my six cousins and I could always count on the fact that a visit to Nonna’s house would include a few homemade crostini. Even now as adults, we open her pantry expecting to find a container with a few of our favourite biscotti!

Although now, as much as I love eating these nostalgic Italian biscuits, I also love baking them because it’s such a fun process. There’s kneading, a pasta machine and braiding involved and I’m yet to find another dessert recipe that incorporates all of these methods!

 Out in the garage (where the spare oven is, of course!) we cooked around 200 crostoli today; enough to see us through the festive season and still have enough to fill a big plate for Christmas Day.

Nearly two hours later, we had an entire table filled with the plaited dough, ready to be fried. I managed to sneak a few onto a baking tray and took them inside to bake in a low temperature oven.

They don’t come out with quite the same golden colour but the crunch is still there and more importantly, so is the taste. I won’t pretend that this is a remotely healthy recipe but baking instead of frying is a small alteration you can make to avoid an excessive amount of oil and fat.

The dough itself is relatively easy to make so the time consuming part of the recipe comes in rolling small chunks of the dough through a pasta machine, cutting each piece into three strips, braiding and then frying.

Set aside half a day if like my family, you make a jumbo batch with 12 eggs. Or, if you’re more prone to reasonable portions of dessert, a four egg quantity base should net about 50 crostoli, depending on how thick you roll the dough.

If you are going for the big batch approach, it’s worthy of your Snapchat story!

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 eggs

  • 4TBS Oil

  • 1C sugar

  • 2C Plain flour (+ extra for the dough)

  • 1/2C Self-Raising flour

  • 1/2C Sambuca (substitute for aniseed essence for a child-friendly batch)

METHOD

  • Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs until fluffy.

  • Gradually add the sugar and continue mixing. Then add the oil and Sambuca.

  • Add both types of flour and mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms into a soft but not sticky dough. You may need to add more Plain flour to get the right consistency.

  • On a floured surface, take a palm-sized chunk of dough and roll out until approximately 5mm thick. If you have a pasta machine, you can also work the dough through the machine, using the second thinnest setting.

  • Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 3cm (width) rectangles, leaving them as long as you want. Then cut two strips, leaving approximately 3cm dough at the top. Using the 3 strands, braid the dough and pinch the end to seal.

  • Shallow-fry the crostoli until golden, turning once. Or, bake for 5-10 minutes.

For more Melbourne restaurant reviews, visit Peaches & Push Ups or follow Juliana on Instagram @juliimare.

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