Tuscan Bread Fritters


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

These simple and delicious little bread-dough fritters appear all over Tuscany under various different names, but the basic principle is always the same: just flour, salt, water and yeast are needed to make them, and plenty of hot olive oil for deep-frying them until they are crispy and golden brown. Perfect as a little snack, they are usually served with an antipasto platter as an alternative to ordinary bread. You might also come across them under the name of panzanelle, frittelle di pane, crescentine or many other locally used names. In some parts of Tuscany cooks add herbs such as fresh basil to the dough to add extra flavour. Serve them piping hot with cured meats such as salami, mortadella or prosciutto.


  • 300 g/11 oz/2⅔ cups plain/all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 30 g/1 ¼ oz fresh/compressed yeast
  • 120 ml/4 fl oz/1 ½ cup warm water
  • 300 ml/½ pint/1 ¼ cups cold water
  • olive oil and sunflower oil mixed, for deep-frying (see Cook’s Tips)
  • sea salt


  1. Put the flour on to the work surface in a mound and make a hollow in the middle with your fist.

  2. Mix the yeast with the warm water and a pinch of salt in a small bowl and stir until dissolved.

  3. Pour the yeast mixture into the hollow and work it into the flour, adding enough of the cold water as necessary to produce a smooth dough.

  4. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, or until it is soft and spongy. Put the ball of dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with oiled clear film or plastic wrap.
  5. Leave the dough to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
  6. Knock back or punch down the dough and roll it out on a floured surface until it is about 2.5cm/1in thick. Cut into finger-sized strips.
  7. Heat the olive and sunflower oils in a deep-fryer or large, deep pan until a small piece of dough, dropped into the oil, sizzles instantly.
  8. Fry the fritters, in batches, for 2-3 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
  9. Remove the fritters carefully from the oil using a slotted spoon. Drain them well on kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt. Serve immediately.