Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes
She slipped off her apron and kerchief, donned the great shawl that wrapped her from head to toe, and went out with the others. She went to the cave, saw the Babe, and knelt in prayer. But when she finally got home she found the dough over-risen: A fluffy, flaccid, sticky, bloated thing that burst out in all directions. She couldn't handle it, gather it together, or do anything with it, and cried out, "My God, how am going to make bread?"
Those returning from the manger heard her wails and stopped to ask her what was wrong. She began tearing off pieces of dough and giving them out, and the dough kept growing, bloating, getting stickier.
"It's no good for making bread any more, it can't go into the oven. My children without bread, I'm ruined because I went to see the Baby Jesus!"
"Don't blaspheme," the others said. Here's some freshly pressed oil. Heat it up." Thus her friends and neighbors tossed the bits of dough into the pot, and as it touched the hot oil it expanded, blowing up, hissing and crackling, and giving off the most divine perfumes: Miraculous delight! Thus was born the pettola, the Christmas bread given to the poor by Baby Jesus.
- 1 3/4 cups (200 g) cake flour
- 5 3/4 cups (800 g) durum wheat flour
- A pinch of salt
- Warm water
- Dry white wine
- Olive oil for frying
- A 1-ounce (25 g) cake of live yeast