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Chiacchere are one of the classic Carnival pastries that people enjoy before the privations of Lent. As is often the case when dishes are popular there are many versions of Chiacchere; this is from the Marche, and was presented at La Prova del Cuoco, a popular mid-day cooking show. You'll need:

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 5 4/5 cups (700 g) all purpose flour
  • A square of live yeast (the cakes of yeast you will find in the dairy section of the supermarket)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) butter
  • The grated zest (yellow part only) of three organically grown lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) sugar
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • Oil for frying


Dissolve the yeast in the milk. Make a mound of the flour on your work surface; scoop a well in the middle of it and crack the eggs into the hole, then crumble the butter in and finally mix in the milk. Work the mixture until it is a smooth dough and set it, covered, in a warm place to rise. When the dough has about doubled in volume divide it into three parts. Roll the first out into a thin rectangular sheet and sprinkle a third each of the sugar and the lemon zest over it. Roll the sheet half way from each side to obtained two joined rolls (they'll resemble a heart in cross section). Cut the roll into half-inch (1 cm) slices and fry them in hot oil until golden brown; when you have finished with the first portion of dough do the second, and so on.

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