Crispeddi a Lici

Anchovy Fritters

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To make the batter for this recipe in the traditional Calabrian style, you need a bavanu, a classic terracotta bowl with a glazed lining. Whichever bowl you use, make sure it is a large one and be sure to use only your hands to beat the batter for the full 30 minutes in order to make it really tacky and light. The fritters make a lovely tasty snack, especially when served with plenty of dry white wine.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg/2 ¼ cups plain/all-purpose flour
  • 120 ml/4 fl oz/½ cup hand-hot water
  • 50 g/2 oz fresh/compressed yeast
  • 1.5 ml/¼ tsp salt
  • 300 g/11 oz salted anchovies, rinsed, boned and dried
  • sunflower oil or light olive oil, for deep-frying

Method

  1. Put the flour into a bowl and make a well middle.
  2. Pour the water into a cup and crumble in the yeast. Pour this mixture into the well in the flour. Using your hands, mix the water into the flour, adding more water if required to make a sticky, stringy mass. Be careful not to add too much liquid.

  3. Knead the batter by beating with your hands in a circular motion for about 30 minutes. Beat in the salt. Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave the batter to rise at warm room temperature for 3-4 hours. Meanwhile, roughly chop the anchovies.

  4. Heat the oil in a large pan to 180°C/350°F or until a small cube of bread, dropped into the oil, browns in about 45 seconds.
  5. Using your hand, scoop up about a tablespoon of batter and stretch it slightly with your fingers. Tuck a piece of anchovy inside and drop the dough into the hot oil. Add more pieces of dough in the same way but do not overcrowd the pan.

  6. Fry the fritters, in batches, for 4-6 minutes until they rise to the surface of the oil and turn crisp and golden, then lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Serve immediately - the hotter the better.

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