Scrippelle are an abruzzese Christmas classic. Please note, I am not talking here about the most well known and respected “scrippelle ‘mbusse” cult of Teraman dish clearly of French origin, but of a soft and fluffy fried sweet with an elongated shape and bright shades of golden brown.
A dish of the poor in the folk tradition, the scrippella has ancient origins. There are even images still vivid in my childhood memories, with my grandmother who, during the Christmas period, would dedicate herself to the pleasantly sweet tradition.
Unlike caggionetti, the “scrippelle” have the chosen vocation of being more like street food than of exquisite domestic consumption.
Anyways, let’s skip over questions of nature and get to the recipe suggested, in this case by Mrs. Emma from Lentella, and her daughter, Vania, the owners of a small bakery in San Salvo.
– 1 kg wheat flour “00”
– 10 g salt
– 400 g yeast
– 5 liter water
We start with a simple mixture of water, flour and yeast. Knead it in a large bowl and let it stand for at least a couple of hours.
At this point we’re going to cut pieces of pasta that we stretch and lengthen a little at a time until we immerse them in plenty of boiling olive oil.
Let it fry for a few minutes, until the surface of our “scrippelle” is burnished down enough and put to dry.
The scrippella should have a length of about 15 cm, while the texture is soft and spongy inside, with a veiled but lasting crunchiness on the outside.
Mrs. Emma’s version (learned from Grandma) does not cover the use of potatoes and eggs, which is a more modern variant and relatively widespread in the territory, primarily to preserve the softness.
It’s pretty common to use yeast, even beer yeast, which provides greater continuity and stability (in terms of rise) in the final result.
Whatever the preferred version, the common denominator is to consume the “scrippelle” still hot and steaming with a generous sprinkling of white sugar on the top.
Translated by Alan Glenn Embree
[Credits | Photography: Carmelita Cianci]