My granny (like all the grannies here in Italy) used to say many proverbs and she often said: “Il fritto è buono anche in capo a un tignoso” that’s italian for: “fried food is good even if eaten on a dirty head”…how to blame her? If there’s something we don’t like, we’ll probably like it if fried.
Probably that’s why Frati Toscani (Tuscan Doughnuts) are one of the most requested desserts in our Cooking Classes in Tuscany, mostly in our kids’ cookery classes, when there’s someone who like kneading and working by hands. Anyway ours are definitely all hands-on cookery courses on vacation and we often prepare Tuscan Doughnuts in our couple cookery courses with and for adults as well.
In Spring or Summer, when sun is high and a swimming pool is waiting for you, you can mostly enjoy your holiday learning to make a typical Tuscan Menu at your holiday home; there’s no bigger gift to me than see the smiles and happiness of our cooks-students together with their family and friends.
Last Summer we run a Private Cooking Class for a family of 4 that came from U.K.; they were here in Tuscany on vacation in a beautiful B&B among olives trees, between Pisa and Lucca: La Lucertola. The parents like cooking and kids are used to read culinary books and try recipes, anyway they were curious how to prepare Tuscan Donuts and Tortelli Maremmani and their cooking class was focused on these.
Tuscan Doughnuts are very simple to make, but (as everything simple) it needs to be respected each step; in addiction to this, I’m passing you a small trick from my granny: using fresh heavy cream in the dough, to give an amazing soft and light texture.
The name is “Frati” (italian for monk) because of the “ring” of hair that monks have on their head.
If you prepare them without the “hole” in the center, here in Tuscany they are named Bomboloni (Italian for Krapfen) and you can fill them with a Chocolate Cream or Custard…I leave you to imagine how they’re amazing.
Here in Tuscany we used to prepare Frati Doughnuts during Carnival festivity, together with other fried delicacies sold “on the road” during country fairs. In fact nowadays you can find these doughnuts in every season of the year, but they’re still sold as a street food, or prepared at home from mothers and grannies.
Like everything “easy to taste”, Tuscan Doughnuts are perfect at any time of the day: snack, lunch or dinner time; the left doughnuts from our cookery lessons in Tuscany (we often prepare a lots) are perfect as breakfast for the day after.
My granny’s tips:
- Use heavy fresh cream
- Be sure having set all you need handy when you’re frying
- Use the handle of a wooden spoon to thread it into the hole of the doughnut and get it spinning while frying
- Put in the caster sugar immediately after drained in oil absorbing cooking paper; they’ll be very hot, but it’s important that they’re in contact with the sugar just when they’re still hot
Click the links below to read, share or print some other recipes in our Cooking Classes in Tuscany: