Torta fritta

    4 hours

    Italian torta fritta, or gnocco fritto, is typical of Emilia Romagna. It's a fried bread made with butter, flour and milk, used traditionally to go with the great local cured meat like prosciutto, mortadella, coppa or finocchiona. As with some old recipes, the traditional one called for lard both in the dough and for deep frying.

    16 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 25g fresh yeast or 7g dried active baking yeast
    • 100ml warm milk
    • 500g plain flour
    • 1 heaped teaspoon salt
    • 100g lard or butter
    • 150ml warm water
    • vegetable oil or lard for deep frying

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Extra time:3hr curing  ›  Ready in:4hr 

    1. Dissolve yeast in the warm milk. Set aside until foamy.
    2. In a large bowl, sift the flour with salt. Add butter or lard and mix in with your finger tips till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Pour in the yeast and milk mixture, and then as much water as it needs to make a sticky ball of dough (you may not use all 150ml of water).
    3. Transfer to a floured surface and knead for 5 to 8 minutes, until smooth and soft. Make a ball, place in an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours, or until doubled.
    4. Roll out the dough to about 3mm thick. With a pizza wheel cutter or a sharp knife, make some diamond shapes, about 8cm long. Transfer to a floured tea towel, cover with another towel and let rise for 1 hour longer.
    5. In a frying pan or deep fryer, heat a generous amount of oil or lard until hot (but not smoking). Add the dough, a few pieces at the time, and deep fry turning once, until golden on each side. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a kitchen paper. Repeat with remaining dough. Serve with cured meat and cheese.

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