These delightful little doughnuts are a speciality of the city of Naples, and are much easier to cook than most doughnuts
725 ml (1 1/4 pints) 3 cups Water
1/2 tsp Salt
50 g (2 oz) 1/4 cup Sugar
2 Tbs Brandy
350 g (12 oz) 3 cups Flour
Sufficient vegetable oil for deep-frying
50 g (2 oz) 1/2 cup Icing (confectioners') sugar
2 tsp Ground cinnamon
1. Pour the water, salt, sugar and brandy into a large saucepan. Set the pan over moderate heat and bring the mixture to the boil. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat and beat vigorously until the dough becomes light and elastic.
2. Turn out the dough on to a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball. Beat with a pestle or rolling pin for 10 minutes, reshaping it into a ball whenever it becomes flat. Divide the dough into 16 pieces and roll each one into a sausage shape about 25 cm (10 in) long. Shape the pieces into rings and press the ends together to seal. Prick each ring with a form.
3. Fill a large saucepan one-third full with oil and heat until it reaches 190°C (375 °F) on a deep-fat thermometer, or until a small cube of stale bread dropped into the oil turns golden in 40 seconds. Carefully lower the dough rings into the oil, a few at a time, and fry for about 5 minutes or until they are golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen towels.
4. Sift the icing (confectioners') sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the zeppole.
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