Salted cod puffs by Giorgio Locatelli

Makes 25-30
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Indy Lifestyle Online

The technique involved in making these delicious salted cod puffs, or zeppole, is a good starting point for those who are interested in bread-making, as the process of making the dough involves gaining an understanding of how much elasticity and air you need to get into the dough. The filling can be made the day before and kept in the fridge.

For the filling

Small fillet (250g) of salted cod (soaked in fresh water that must be changed every few hours if possible, for at least a day) cut into 3cm chunks
100ml double cream
2 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
1 pint of milk
1 pint of water
A handful of flat-leaved parsley, finely chopped



For the dough

5g fresh yeast
150g Maris Piper potatoes
90ml warm water
150g flour
5g salt
Vegetable oil (for deep frying)

Place the water, milk, bay leaves, garlic and the cod into a pan. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer for at least 1-1 hours or until the fish flakes. Then let it cool down.

Remove the garlic and the fish from the cooking liquid and flake it with your hands into a mixing bowl. Then, with a wooden spoon, beat in the double cream; by now it should have a creamy but firm consistency. Add the parsley and set aside.

Keep the potatoes whole and still in their skins. Cover with water and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until soft (should take about 15-20 minutes). When they are cooked, drain them and peel them, and put them into a tray covered with foil and place in a warm oven for about 10 minutes to dry them.

Mash the potatoes in a bowl. In a separate bowl melt the yeast with the warm water and add the mixture to the potatoes, plus the flour and the salt, mix well and, as soon as the dough comes together, cover it with clingfilm and leave it to rise for half an hour.

Heat the vegetable oil in a deep fryer or a pan (no more than a third full). To test whether it's hot enough, drop in a pinch of flour: if it fries, the oil is ready.

Take small tablespoon-sized pieces of dough. Make a small hole in the centre and take some of the cod mix and place it in the middle. Fold the dough from the edges towards the centre in order to make it ball-shaped. Slide it into the hot oil and cook until golden. Continue until the dough has finished. Ensure the balls of dough keep moving in the pan. Drain off the oil, dry them with kitchen paper and serve.

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