Trc’niegl a.k.a. Zeppole #TwelveLoaves

Have you ever tried the fried dough found at all the Italian feasts?  Our family calls them Trc’niegl (as in the town my Dad and Grandparents came from) but they are generally known as Zeppole.  When made at home they are way better than the ones that are from the feast (not that I turn those away).

Trc'niegl a.k.a. Zeppole | Bakewell Junction - a delicious and addicting treat.

Trc’niegl a.k.a. Zeppole | Bakewell Junction

You’re probably wondering how we pronounce Trc’niegl, so here it is (sorta):  Therch-eh-nee-lyee (the y is pronounced as a consonant not as eye).  There is a more official recipe in the town we came from for making these using potato (I’ll likely share that a another time).  My family never used that recipe and my Grandmother used the same recipe she used for making homemade pizza.  My Grandmother’s recipe was never written down, so now we use my hubby’s pizza dough recipe.

Other differences between Trc’niegl and the well known Zeppole is that we use granulated sugar rather than powdered sugar and we make them into shapes (see the photo below) rather than just a ball shape.  I don’t mind the powdered sugar but I use the granulated sugar when I make them at home.

Trc'niegl a.k.a. Zeppole | Bakewell Junction - a delicious and addicting treat.These can be made any time you want them.  They are a special treat for any family gathering too.

Trc'niegl a.k.a. Zeppole | Bakewell Junction - a delicious and addicting treat.I even ate one with green sugar in honor of the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day.  Notice the extra sugar on the side for dunking.

In other news, one warm week and the snow and ice has receded wonderfully.  Yay!

Trc’niegl (Zeppole)

Yield:  9 to 10 servings                Cook Time:  4 minutes



  • 1 3/4 to 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons Rapid Rise Yeast
  • 1 cup water, warmed to 130 to 140 degrees
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons oil
  • oil for frying (I used olive oil but it’s not the usual oil used for frying)


  • granulated sugar to sprinkle on fried dough (substitutions, powdered sugar as in the Italian feast version)


Step 1:  For the dough:  Begin by warming a large ceramic bowl by filling it with hot water for a few minutes.  Pour out the water and dry bowl with a clean cloth.  Add 1 3/4 cup of flour, salt, sugar and yeast to the bowl.  Mix combined ingredients.

Step 2:  Heat water to 130 to 140 degrees (or follow the directions on the yeast you’re using) – this is about 1 minute 20 seconds in my microwave in a 1 cup glass measure.  Pour the water around the outside of the flour mixture where it meets the bowl.  With a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients to combine and the dough begins to come together.  If the dough looks overly wet, add 2 tablespoons of flour at a time (but not more than the remaining 1/4 cup flour) and continue mixing until the dough forms a mass.  The dough will be sticky.  Drizzle 1 tablespoon oil on the dough ball.  Turn the dough ball over a couple of times so the oil coats it.  Knead the dough for a few minutes.

Step 3.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for one to two hours.  Let the dough rise until doubled.  If using my tip, it will double in 45 to 60 minutes.  If not, it may take 1 to 2 hours.

Step 4:  You don’t need a deep fryer per se, you can use a large and deep sauce pan.  I used a 3 quart sauce pan.  Add oil for frying to be 2 to 3 inches deep in the pan and heat to about 300 degrees.  While the oil heats, prepare a clean workspace and sprinkle liberally with flour.  Sprinkle your hands liberally with flour also.  Divide the dough into 9 or 10 pieces.  For each piece, form it into one of three shapes:  create a rope about 3/4 inch thick and then create a circle, pressing the ends together to attach; create the same rope as before but overlap the ends about an inch from the end so there is a circle with two ends protruding out where they overlapped; create a flat piece of dough that is about 3 inches by 4 inches.  Set the dough shapes on the floured work surface while the oil finishes heating.

Step 5:  Begin frying the dough by carefully placing the first in the oil.  There will be a lot of bubbling and the dough will float to the top after a few seconds.  Add another but do not crowd too much.  Fry for a few minutes until the bottom is a dark golden color.  Turn dough over to fry the other side for a few minutes until the color is dark golden color.  I like to make them dark to be sure that the inside is cooked through.  No one wants a Trc’niegl that has uncooked dough in the middle.  Transfer the cooked dough out of the oil, letting the excess drip off, onto a paper towel lined bowl.  Sprinkle liberally with sugar.  Repeat with the remaining dough.  Best served hot but you can follow my tips if you have any left over.


Tips:  If your house is chilly like mine always is and your dough doesn’t rise, you can boil a pot of water while preparing the dough and place the water and dough in a cold oven.  The boiling water will create a warm moist environment in the oven for the dough to rise well.  Leave the oven light on and it will add to the warming effect.  I use this tip even during the warm weather months.
If you have any leftovers, place them in a plastic freezer bag and freeze until ready to use.  When ready to use, defrost one by microwaving for 15 to 20 seconds and then toast in a toaster oven.  If defrosting more than one, increase microwave and toaster oven time.
To simplify, you could substitute store bought pizza dough or frozen white bread dough, instead of making your own dough.  Just defrost and let rise for an hour or two.

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess and runs smoothly with the help of Heather of girlichef, and the rest of our fabulous bakers.

Our host this month is Rossella from Ma ch ti sei mangiato, and our theme is Italian Breads.  For more bread recipes, visit the #TwelveLoaves Pinterest board, or check out last month’s mouthwatering selection of #TwelveLoaves Olive Breads!  Are you a food blogger that would like to be a part of our bread baking group?  Send an email to Lora at:  cakeduchess @ (all attached).

If you’d like to bake along with us this month, share your Italian bread using hashtag #TwelveLoaves!

This post may also be entered in these linky parties.  Click the here to visit the other great posts in the blog hops.  Entered here also:

47 thoughts on “Trc’niegl a.k.a. Zeppole #TwelveLoaves

  1. Looks yummy! I bet they are super delish fresh from the oven! Thank you for tossing your hat into the ring at the Party Under The Big Top! I hope to see you again next week!

  2. This looks delicious! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Bloggers Brags! I’m pining to the Bloggers Brags board on Pinterest. Enjoy the rest of your week!

  3. Mmm… I could go for this tasty treat right now 🙂 My family would love this recipe so I will have to make it sometime soon. Thank you so much for sharing with Roses of Inspiration – I truly appreciate it. Hugs!

  4. These look so good! I love getting fried dough at festivals and would love to try making at home, pinning. Thanks for sharing at What’d You Do This Weekend? I hope you will join us again this Monday!

  5. These would definitely be a favorite at our house! Thanks for linking up to Creative K Kid’s Tasty Tuesdays Linky Party. I’ve pinned your post to the Tasty Tuesday’s Pinterest board.

  6. This looks incredible! I’m drooling right now. Pinned and tweeted. We are so thrilled to have you at our party. Please stop by on Monday at 7, so we can see your amazing projects. Lou Lou Girls

  7. Oh my goodness, your Zeppole looks fabulous, sure wish I had some with my afternoon tea. Your post is awesome and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Happy Spring!
    Miz Helen

  8. Fried food and my tummy don’t mix LOL Well once a year at the county fair I have an elephant ear. But these look so good I might just have to hurt myself! Thanks for sharing on the (mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop!

  9. This looks fabulous- I don’t think I’ve ever had it before! I LOVE that you had extra sugar for dunking… That’s exactly what I’d do too! 🙂 Thank you for sharing with us at Delicious Dish Tuesday! We’d love for you to share a link back to one of the hosts so your readers know where to find and share great recipes like this one! 🙂 Please join us again this week- we LOVE great recipes!! ❤

  10. I have never heard of or tried them, but they sure look yummy! Love the fun shapes. Thanks for sharing the recipe with SYC.

  11. This is a new recipe to me! It looks very much like an easy to do delicious treat! Thanks for sharing this post at the #PureblogLove Link party! The party begins againThursday night at 8 p.m. We hope you plan to link up again. We’d love to see more of your fantastic ideas!

  12. Pingback: Funtastic Friday #17 ⋆ olives-n-okra

  13. Pingback: Potato & Ham Croquettes #FoodieFriday - Casa Costello

  14. Oh yes, I have heard of “zeppole”, but sadly, my family never made them for whatever reason (possibly an Italian regional dish), but whatever the reason, I know that I need to know how to make these wonderful treats! Thank you so much for sharing a recipe that I want to make soon!
    Baci and Buona Pasqua (kisses and Happy Easter),

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