Monday, 21 May 2012

Making Crostoli - The Easy Way

Delicious Crostoli

Crostoli is a wonderfully light, fried Italian pastry.   Sprinkled generously with icing sugar - it really tastes as good as it looks. First introduced to Crostoli by my mother-in-law Mrs G who made it for special occasions, or to occupy a rainy day.  I have very fond memories of diantily nibbling on Crostoli whilst sipping an espresso or iced coffee with my extended family.  While it was often offered, and I was occasionally in residence when it was made I had never made this sweet treat.  When the good Mr and Mrs G first visited us in Sydney, after our second child was born I said that now we had been married for twelve years, perhaps she would be kind enough to share her secret Crostoli recipe.  'Don't you have it?' she replied 'oh, but of course, here it is'.  I still have her treasured hand written recipe in my favourite Italian cook book.

View 1. Crostoli dusted with icing sugar

Crostoli is not hard to make, but definitely easier with a pasta roller than with a rolling pin - my first attempt! Attach your pasta roller to the kitchen counter top.  I use a little wooden wedge between the bottom of the benchtop and the tightened screw arm to prevent any damage to the underside of the counter top. 

View 2. Pasta roller attached to the kitchen bench

View 3. Place the flours and sugar into a large mixing bowl

View 4. Add the eggs, vegetable oil and brandy.  Add the grated zest of one lemon.

View 5.  Mix together by hand, then knead until you have a firm dough ball

View 6.  Starting with the largest setting, roll dough balls, the size of golf balls through the pasta machine

View 7. Place the sheets of rolled dough onto a lightly floured surface. It is quicker to run the whole batch through on the largest setting, then reduce the machine thickness by two twists and run them all through again

View 8.  Keep adding plain flour as needed to keep the dough supple and not sticking to your work surface.  When all dough strips have been rolled through the thinnest setting, it is ready to cut into strips.

 View 9.  I use a fluted roller for a nice edge and twist 1 1/2 cm strips into rounds, bows or simply, strips

View 10.  Heat some vegetable oil, enough to deep fry in a large pan, fryer or wok to about 120 degrees celsius.  When you drop a bread cube in it should start sizzling gently,  immediately.
Gently drop in about 10 crostoli, fry for 1 minute then turn over and fry the underside for 30 seconds more

 When still pale but a light golden colour, remove with tongs and drain on kitchen paper.  The Crostoli will harden upon cooling.  If you are called away, cover the dough with a tea towel to keep moist.  When you have fried all of them, place some on a plate and sprinkle with sifted icing sugar.  Brew the coffee and enjoy!

 Only put icing sugar on servings as Crostoli will stay fresh in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.

Mrs G's Crostoli

3 cups plain flour
2 cups self raising flour
1 cup sugar
6 large free-range eggs
1 small shot glass vegetable oil (50 ml)
1 small shot glass brandy (50 ml)
grated zest of 1 lemon

Mix flours and sugar together.  Add eggs, oil, brandy and lemon zest.  Mix to a soft dough and knead for 2 - 5 mins until pliable.   Divide into golf ball sized balls and flour your work surface.
Attach pasta maker to bench and turn to the thickest setting.  Run each small dough ball through and place on bench whilst you work on the next one.  Turn the pasta roller to the next setting and run each strip through again.  Keep flouring your bench.
Adjust the pasta maker to the next thinnest size and continue to run each strip through.  Cut the dough strips in half if getting too long to handle.  When they have gone through the thinnest, or even the second thinnest setting they are ready to be cut into strips.  Twist into bows, or loose round shapes or simply leave straight.
Heat vegetable oil for deep frying up to about 120 degrees, when a cube of bread dropped into the oil sizzles immediately then the oil is ready.  
Drop into the oil gently, 12 strips, fry for 1 minute then turn over and fry the other side for about 30 seconds or until a pale golden brown colour.  Remove with tongs and drain on paper towels.  Store in air tight containers when cool and serve dusted with icing sugar.

* For a variation, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon instead of the icing sugar.


  1. I adore crostoli so thank you for teaching us how to make it! :D

    1. Thank you for reading and for your kind comment :D