Bomboloni are Italian filled doughnuts primarily connected to the Tuscany region, but they may have origins in Austria. In some parts of Italy, they are called bomba or bombe meaning “bomb,” because they resemble a small grenade. What makes them different from American-style doughnuts is that the creamy filling is visible from the top rather than hidden inside. Bomboloni carts are popular at beaches for a snack. Even though the filling is usually a sweet vanilla pastry cream, sometimes they are filled with chocolate-hazelnut spread or fruit jam. When serving bomboloni for dessert after an Italian meal, pair with a cup of espresso or even a sparkling red wine from the Piemonte region of Italy.
- For the Bomboloni:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 (2 1/4-teaspoon) packet rapid rise dry yeast
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter (softened)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- For the Coating:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Optional: Ground cinnamon, cardamom, and anise
- For the Filling:
- Vanilla pastry cream
- Chocolate-hazelnut spread
Gather the ingredients.
In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.
Add the eggs, milk, butter, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine using a rubber spatula.
Fit the stand mixer with the dough hook and knead the dough on low for 2 minutes. (This dough can also be kneaded by hand on a floured surface for about 5 minutes.) The dough is ready when it is smooth and elastic, but still sticky.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat the top of the dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
When the dough is ready, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gently roll to about 1 inch thickness. Using a 2 1/2 inch round biscuit cutter, cut the dough into circles.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Rise for 1 more hour.
When ready to fry, heat oil in a large, deep pan to 325 to 350 degrees F. Fry the bomboloni in batches, about 2 minutes on each side, until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
When cool enough to touch, toss the fried bomboloni with granulated sugar to coat. If desired, ground cinnamon, cardamom, or anise can be added to the sugar for additional flavor.
To fill, make a small hole in the side of each bomboloni. Spoon your favorite filling into a piping bag fitted with a medium-sized round tip. Push the tip into the small hole and squeeze to fill. Allow a little bit of the filling to spill out and show through the hole.