Delicious Crostoli (Italian Fried Dough)

Crostoli. Chiacchere. Bugie. Frappe. Galani… These deliciously crunchy and flaky pieces of fried dough, typically eaten during Carnival (in February) possibly have as many different names as there are regions in Italy. And just as many ways of making them (every mamma or nonna has her own recipe!).

Here’s just one of the versions I make.


  • 250 gr/8.82 oz 00 flour (or all purpose)
  • 2 eggs
  • 40 gr/1.4 oz sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • lemon zest from 1 small lemon
  • 20 gr/0.7 oz grappa or rum
  • A pinch of salt
  • 25 gr/0.82 oz butter
  • Vegetable oil to deep fry
  • Powder sugar to sift on top


  1. Mix the flour, sugar, salt and grappa into a large bowl and combine.
  2. Add the vanilla, lemon zest and eggs and work the ingredients a bit until a rough ball forms.
  3. Transfer the dough to a counter or flat surface and knead until it’s smooth.
  4. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for about 30 min.
  5. Either with a pasta machine or with a rolling pin, roll the dough into very thin sheets. Cover any dough you are not working on so it doesn’t dry out.
  6. Cut the rolled dough into pieces (about 2” x 4” but any similar size is fine), make a couple of cuts in the middle of each piece and place on a tray covered with paper towel or tea towel in between layers (sprinkle some flour to avoid sticking).
  7. Bring the oil to temperature (about 170C/330F) and fry the pieces, turning them once, until they get some color, a few at the time.
  8. Place them on a tray and sift some powder sugar on top.