Crescia Dolce Recipe | Italian Recipes | PBS Food

This delicious and kid-friendly recipes is a favorite of chef Fabio Trabocchi and his son, Luca. Read more about how the father and son use the kitchen to teach life lessons and bond together.


Yield: 4 cresce


  • 3 ¼ cups Italian flour
  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast or 1 ¾ oz fresh yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • ½ cup lard for the dough, plus 1/3 cup lard for spreading
  • 2 whole eggs
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 quart frying oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, for dusting


  1. Combine the flour, yeast, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Mix in the lard.
  2. Add the eggs and milk, and stir with a wooden spoon to bring together into a rough dough.
  3. Turn the dough onto the table, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes. Add more flour (sparingly) to the work surface only if it is absolutely necessary.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball; cover and let rest on the work surface for one hour to relax the gluten.
  5. Divide the dough into four even sections. Roll each section into a round approximately 8-10 inches wide and 1/8 inch thick.
  6. Spread the lard evenly over the surface of each one, and roll up (as for a jellyroll) to form a log.
  7. Coil these lengths of dough into buns resembling a snail. Let rest again, covered, for 30 minutes.
  8. Again, on a lightly floured surface, roll out these buns with a rolling pin to form 7-inch rounds.
  9. In a deep fryer or a wide heavy pot, heat the oil to 350°F. Spread 1 cup granulated sugar in a shallow bowl that is at least 7 inches in diameter, or spread it on a plate.
  10. Very carefully place a crescia in the hot oil. The oil may spurt, so be especially careful. Use the back of a wooden spoon with a long handle to keep the dough submerged in the oil and fry, turning once, for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden. Using tongs, transfer the crescia to the prepared baking sheet. Blot off excess oil, and dip both sides of the crescia into the sugar. Repeat with the remaining crescia.
  11. Serve warm, with apple butter, Nutella, or the topping of your choice!
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