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  • Zipples (Zeppole)
    Recipe contributed by Michele Napoli
    • 6 cups all purpose flour
    • 2 Tablespoons Crisco shortening
    • 2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 - 2-1/2 cups hot tap water
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • Good quality vegetable oil for frying
    • 1 envelope dry yeast
    • Fresh ground pepper to taste (we like a lot!)
    Our family makes Zipples only on Christmas Eve, where they serve as the bread for dinner. My husband's grandmother brought the recipe with her from Spigno Saturnia (Lazio) to Pennsylvania.

    In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Put the Crisco in a large measuring cup and add 2 cups hot water. Slowly add the water mixture to the dry ingredients and beat with a wooden spoon until you have a very soft bread dough mixture (you may have to add a little more water). Cover the bowl with a large towel and place in a warm, draft-free place until the dough doubles in volume (approximately 2-3 hours).

    After the dough has risen, heat 2-3 inches of vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet (or use a deep fryer) until almost smoking. Wet your fingers and break off small pieces of dough (about the size of an egg), shape the dough into a rope about 4-5 inches long, and tie rope in a knot. Drop the knot into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on all sides. Only fry a few zipples at a time or they will not cook thoroughly. After removing the zipples from the oil, drain on several layers of paper towels.

    The zipples are best eaten warm, and they can be sprinkled with salt or powdered sugar if you wish.

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