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Stuffoli Dough. help adjusting

I just made struffoli and it came out too dry & cakey.
I don't know where to start to try to adjust.
Here's what i used:
2C flour
3 eggs
1/2 stick butter
3TBL sugar
1/2 tea salt
1 tea vanilla
1/4 tea baking powder
orange & lemon zest.

The dough was pretty sticky. Is that good or bad?
The recipe called for 1 TBL white wine which I omitted. Should I have sub'd this? Would that have made the dough too dry

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  1. Struffoli are not pastries with which I am familiar. "I miei antenati non erano italiani." My ancestors were not Italian. I accessed recipes on the internet, and some seem to have more ingredients than you have listed. Some recipes have about the same ingredients as you have listed. Have you tried to fry these dough balls to see if they turned out OK?

    1 Reply
    1. re: ChiliDude

      Roxlet is the resident struffoli expert. Expect to hear from her shortly.

    2. Chiidude thanks for responding.
      Yes I did fry these. They ended up a little dry & cakey tasting. Not too bad but not the way my Aunt Sarah made them.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jwalter007

        Do you have Aunt Sarah's recipe? If yes, and if Aunt Sarah is available for consultation, ask her if an ingredient has been accidently(?) omitted. Some people pass on recipes and intentionally omit an ingredient so that other people cannot produce the same good tasting result.

        I was a professional statistician in my other life (before retirement), and statistician's are natural born skeptics.

        1. re: ChiliDude

          Sadly, Aunt Sarah passed many years ago. I wish I had spoken to her about her Italian recipes as I am the last one left who has an interest, but I was too young.

      2. Your recipe seems a little complicated. My dough consists of eggs and flour, and maybe a pinch of salt. That's it. No butter, vanilla, baking powder, sugar or zest. Essentially, it is pasta dough made with all-purpose flour. When the little pieces cook in the hot oil, they sort of "pop" as they cook. They are pretty light and airy, and when they all are cooked, I put them in a mixture of honey, sugar and a little cinnamon that has been cooked until the sugar amalgamates into the honey. When the pieces are all covered with the mixture, sprinkle on nonpareils, and form into either a ring or a mound, and let cool. I find these are best in a day or so after they are made.

        6 Replies
        1. re: roxlet

          I have a hard time making pasta dough. I used to be good at it then I stopped for a while & now I can't get it right. My dough comes out very hard & dry. One trick I learned on this site, was to add the dry to the wet ingredients.
          It is definitely an art. I plan to try your simplified version. I gather mine from food network website.
          However, I feel it does need the citrus flavor. Do you think adding the zest will effect the dough in any way?

          1. re: jwalter007

            The lemon flavor shouldn't affect the dough at all.

            Let's be clear here -- the texture of the struffoli that I make is sort of crunchy. It's not cakey and it's not airy. It's got a definite crunch. I will frequently make my struffoli dough in the food processor, add more eggs than needed, and then knead in as much additional flour as I need to keep the dough from being sticky. As my late Aunt Rose told me when she taught me to make these, "The dough should be like silk."

            1. re: roxlet

              what result does sticky dough give you? Mine was really sticky.
              What is the purpose of adding more eggs?

              1. re: jwalter007

                You add more flour to the sticky dough until it's no longer sticky. you knead it in.

                1. re: roxlet

                  Please explain what is the problem with sticky dough. Is it just sticky & hard to work with or does that affect the final product in a certain way?

                  1. re: jwalter007

                    It shouldn't be sticky. I don't know how you could properly form even-sized balls with sticky dough. The way I form the dough is to allow it to rest to relax the gluten, then I roll it out, cut the dough into narrow strips, and roll those into ropes before cutting them into small pieces. As far as how having sticky dough would affect the finished product, I have no idea since I would never make them that way.