Making cullurielli brings me back to simpler days when my mom and dad spent the day preparing all sorts of traditional sweet Christmas delicacies, just in time to celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8. Served with homemade soppressata, salty anchovy fillets, and chunks of Friulano cheese, these potato-based fried dough are popular street food in Calabria. Golden, airy, and slightly chewy, we dip them in chunky tomato sauce for an added savoury taste. Add them to your next charcuterie board and watch them disappear.
- 3 small boiled potatoes peeled and mashed, warm
- 11 - 14 ounces of very warm water use the water from boiling the potatoes
- 6-7 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp instant yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- 1 tsp oil to grease the bowl
- oil for frying
Add sugar and salt to dissolve in potato water. Set aside.
On a clean work surface, mound 5 - 6 cups of flour and create a “well” in the centre. Sprinkle yeast over flour and lightly mix with fingers.
Add mashed potatoes to the well. Using a fork, gradually draw in flour from the inside walls of the well to combine lightly.
Begin pouring warm water into the well, continuing to draw in more flour. As dough becomes thicker and sticks to the fork, use hands to work the dough. It will transform from shaggy to very sticky. Continue to knead dough for about 10 minutes, drawing more flour until only tacky. Shape into ball.
Add oil to large bowl. Add dough and grease on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 30 minutes or until double in bulk.
Scrape dough onto a lightly floured clean work surface. Using knife or bench scraper, cut a piece about the size of a baseball. Roll to form a rope. Then pinch ends together to form doughnut shape. Lay on floured surface while shaping the rest.
Traditionally, you can add a fillet of anchovy. Form a flattened circle and add fillet in the middle. Pinch sides together to form a bun.
To deep-fry, preheat a large pot filled with oil to about 370°F. Add a few cullurielli. Do not overcrowd the pot. Let fry for about 6 minutes on each side until deeply golden. Remove and blot on a paper towel. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve immediately.
For a sweet traditional version, leftovers are sliced into chunks and heated with vincotto, a sweet syrup made from the reduction of unfermented wine must. Slice the cullurielli and add just enough vincotto to barely coat the pieces. Place on medium heat and stir until just heated through. Serve immediately.
Leftovers can be reheated in the oven to restore their slightly crispy exterior.
For an article: https://www.thespec.com/local-stoney-creek/opinion/2021/12/18/marisa-s-easy-kitchen-make-cullurielli-the-star-of-your-next-charcuterie-board.html