latin dessert

Roman Doughnuts!

So apparently it’s donut day? As a type 1 diabetic I usually avoid them because I have yet to perfect the art of taking the right amount of insulin for these diabolical mixtures of carb and fat…

But I make an exception for these. Found this recipe in some book of ancient Roman recipes when I was collecting such for my Latin club students. We started making them as the dessert course for a Roman Cooking event some years ago, and this year we enjoyed them so much we started making the donuts alone for a fundraiser several times throughout the year. They’re delicious!


 Puffy little balls of cheese and flour, deep-fried in olive oil, soaked in honey, and sprinkled with poppy seeds – the best ancient “doughnuts” around.

  •  1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup dry ricotta cheese
  • ½ teaspoon dry yeast
  • ½ cup water, lukewarm
  • olive oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup poppy seeds
  1. Put  the flour and cheese in a mixing bowl. Blend well with the finger tips     until it has the consistency of corn meal. Mix in the dry yeast.
  2. Pour the     water into the flour and cheese mixture and blend well. Let rest 3 minutes,     then sprinkle with a little flour and knead until smooth and elastic. Do     the kneading either on a lightly floured surface or in the bowl. Return     the dough to the bowl (if necessary), cover with a towel, and let rise 1     hour.
  3. Remove     the risen dough from the bowl and roll into a sausage shape 1-inch thick.     Cut the dough into 10 pieces, roll each into a ball, and sprinkle lightly     with flour.
  4. Pour     enough olive oil into a deep pan so that it will float the globes (about 1     ½ inches deep). Heat the oil. Drop a few of the globes into the hot oil     and cook until golden brown all over. Remove the globes when finished and     drain the clinging oil. Cook the others.
  5. Pour     the honey into a bowl, and turn the globes in the honey until covered.     Transfer to a serving plate, sprinkle with the poppy seeds, and serve when     they have cooled.

 TIME: Mixing & rising: 75 minutes; Cooking: 15 minutes; Total: 1.5 hours