Margie, a reader from PA., had a special request for me - to help find a recipe her grandmother used to make. The recipe, bishi, is deep-fried dough -- lighter than donuts, more like a crueller sprinkled with sugar.
When I consulted Doug, we decided it sounded a lot like the Zing-a-Ling recipe his mother and my grandmother used to make. Great, I thought, but I didn’t have the recipe. He suggested asking cousin Alice Bakalian.
Within a few hours of my e-mail, Alice responded in disbelief. She said she was given the Zing-a-Ling recipe in 1987 from her husband’s cousin Rosie but never made it until one week before my request, when Rosie
paid her a visit.
In the meantime, I was curious to see if anyone out in computer-land had a recipe for bishi - or zing-a-ling. The answer……of course! I found a recipe for Bishi, the “Armenian Zeppoli” at http://www.recipezaar.com/ sent in
by a person named Manoushag. It was her grandmother’s recipe using yeast, flour, eggs, etc.
Margie sent me photos of her attempt to make the bishi, which I promised I’d share with all of you. Thanks Margie for your inquiry and gracious participation!
Here's a slight variation of the recipe from cousin Alice Bakalian:
Bishi or Zing-a-ling
1 pkg. dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
¾ cup water
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 cup flour
Dissolve yeast and sugar in ¾ cup water.
Mix flour, baking powder, and eggs in a bowl. Stir in yeast mixture until blended. Let stand 20 minutes to allow mixture to thicken and rise.
Heat vegetable oil, such as Mazola, in a deep fryer to 375°F.
Test with a small amount of dough. Drop dough in hot oil, one tablespoon at a time. Fry until golden brown all around.
After frying, drain on paper towels, then dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.