Crumbly, delicate, sweet fried pastry dough with many names across the world, mostly eaten around Easter or carnival time. Chiacchiere, crostoli, frappe, bugie, are just a few Italian ones. I had a lot of troubles deciding which name to use, so I chose an Italian one – chiacchiere and an English one – angel wings. This fried pastry will crumble in your hand when you bite it, it’s so delicate and delicious.
Chiacchiere? Crostoli? Angel wings?
Seriously, the names are ridiculous, not only are there a million Italian ones because every region has its own name, but also each European country has its own name. Check Wikipedia to find the name for angel wings pastry in your country. Even in Slovenia, we have at least 3 different names for them, in the Istria region, we call them kroštole.
I’ve found that in English they are mostly referred to as angel wings or fried bow ties.
Have you ever seen fried pastry like this? Tell me in the comments if you have a special name for it :)!
I’ve already talked about the carnival – pust – that we celebrate in Slovenia and how every family makes something fried at that time (doughnuts are the most popular) in the Churros recipe post, so read more there!
For me, they are a childhood favorite as my grandmother often made them. Let’s keep the tradition going!
How To Make Chiacchiere
No matter how many names this fried pastry dough has, it’s always made of few, simple ingredients – flour, eggs and some sort of alcohol (wine, grappa, rum, brandy). A lot of recipes also use fat in the pastry dough, as do I. Fat always adds to the flavor so I like to use butter.
The dough needs a lot of kneading to get the best results and a little rest. You should leave it to rest for 20 minutes to an hour on the counter, but I’ve also tried leaving it 3 days in the fridge and it was ok, it only got dry a bit faster during the rolling.
I am pretty lazy and trust my stand mixer with the kneading, but you can try to do it by hand, burn some calories and not support laziness!
The alcohol in fried pastries is always important to add as the pastry soaks up less oil when fried. At least that’s what people used to say, right? Is it true? Well, not really. But!
But, when you deep fry the angel wings, the water evaporates and creates those beautiful bubbles on top (that you should have a lot of). Alcohol evaporates even faster and thus making more and bigger bubbles and crispier pastry. And that’s what we are aiming for!
I like to use a mix of wine and rum for flavor.
After the kneading and resting comes the rolling and shaping.
I filmed how I made the chiacchiere on my Instagram and saved the stories in highlights, so check that out for more visuals!
- Roll the pastry dough as thin as possible on a lightly floured surface.
- Cut it into rectangles or squares of various sizes (best to use a pizza cutter). Mine were approximately 4 x 10 cm.
- Make 1-4 cuts on each, leaving around 1/2 cm of space from the edges.
- Take one in your hand and stretch the dough to make it even thinner.
- Now twist it around, curl it, make whatever shapes you want! You could even leave them not twisted and fry them straight.
- When frying, make sure that the oil is not too hot or too cold. It should be around 180°C.
It’s best to have a helper while frying so that one person can cut and make shapes of the pastry dough and the other one fries them. They fry up very fast so be careful!
One last thing to be aware of is to lightly pat the fried angel wings with paper towels right after they come out of the oil, to remove as much oil as possible.
They should keep for a week in an airtight container but they never last that long because after you eat one you are doomed for 10 more!
Are you wondering how to use the leftover egg whites? I have a few ideas for you, check these recipes that only use egg whites:
Now enjoy this recipe for the crispiest fried pastry – Chiacchiere. I mean, Angel wings … Ehm, Crostoli? Whatever, just make them and enjoy!
(makes a lot)
250 g flour
30 g butter
2 egg yolks
10 g vanilla sugar
2-3 tbsp of whipping cream
2 tbsp white wine
1 tbsp rum
zest of 1 lemon
pinch of salt
+ 1/2 liter vegetable oil for frying
+ powdered sugar for dusting
Mix all of the ingredients for the fried pastry and add the whipping cream last. Use it only enough to make the dough just stick together, it can be 2 to 3 tablespoons. Knead all of the ingredients together for 7-10 minutes, in a stand mixer with a dough attachment or by hand. Let the dough covered tightly with cling film rest for 30 minutes on the counter.
Roll the dough on a floured surface as thin as possible. Use a long offset spatula to go under the dough every once in a while to help it not stick to the counter. Use a pizza cutter to cut the rolled pastry into squares or rectangles around 4 x 10 cm. Then make 1-4 cuts in the middle of each rectangle, leaving about 1/2 cm around the edges. Now for the fun part. Take one in your hand and stretch it so that it becomes even thinner. Now twist and turn the dough to make any shapes you want, make knots or just leave them straight.
Frying the pastry
Heat up the oil in a fairly big and deep pot to 180°C on medium heat. If you don’t have a thermometer, check if the oil is ready by placing a piece of dough in it, if it starts bubbling around it, it’s ready to go. Prepare a plate lined with paper towels and have more ready nearby. Carefully place around 3 pieces of dough in the oil, turning them around after a few seconds, as soon as they get some golden color. After a few seconds on the other side, when all golden, they are done! Take them out and place on the prepared plate. Take some more paper and pat them to remove excess oil. Place more paper towels on top of the fried chiacchiere when the plate is full and continue. Repeat until you fry all the dough. If the oil gets too hot, the pastry will brown up too fast, remove the pan from the heat for a few seconds, lower the heat and place it back.
Leave them to cool a bit, then remove the paper towels and dust them with powdered sugar. They crisp up when completely cooled. You should have a lot of angel wings with lot’s of bubbles and golden color.
- Using sugar in the dough is optional, you can leave it out. This will probably result in a lighter color.
- You can substitute the rum with grappa, brandy or wine.
- Lemon zest is not necessary but it adds to the flavor.
- The dough should be very soft but not sticky.
- The thinner the dough the better.
- Use any vegetable oil appropriate for frying (withstands high temperatures), I use sunflower.
- In the past peopled fried chiacchiere in lard, so I guess you could do that too.
- The dough should not touch the bottom of the pan when frying.
- The dough will get drier as it waits to get fried, so try to do everything fast or have a helper.
- Bubbles on the surface are a sign of well-made angel wings.
- The alcohol evaporates during the frying so don’t worry about using it.