I learnt this recipe long ago from my Aunt Ana’s mother. The recipe recycles stale bread, is really easy and permits thousands of variations (I only annotate here some of them, my favorite, chocolate filled, is at the photo). Sweet bread-rolls are great for an afternoon snack, breakfast or eating during a journey, and a healthier and delicious alternative to industry-made bakery.

½ stale bread, if there is of different classes better
milk, better fat-free
1 egg, or 2 if it’s small
brown sugar
lemon skin grated
olive oil


Put the bread in a bowl and cover with milk, leave it into the fridge half a day of all a day (or a night), perforating it from time to time with a fork in order the milk moistures it. Add brown sugar at your discretion, tasting the milk to check the sweetness, but remember that when cooked the bread-rolls will loose a bit of the sweetness. When the bread is well soaked drain the milk away. Beat the egg and add it stirring and the grated lemon skin in the quantity you prefer. Drain well again. With two tea spoons or your hands make balls and drop them in a frying pan with hot olive oil (the oil mustn’t cover them). Watch them closely because they get cooked rapidly and you will have to turn them back to cook them on both sides. It is important that the oil stays not too hot in order to give the rolls time to be cooked by the inside (the bigger they are, the more probabilities they do not end completely cooked in their core). Remember that you can bake them also at the oven putting them over a sheet of oven paper with some drops of olive oil. When you get the rolls out of the frying pan put them in a metallic grid or cooking paper to help them drop the oil off. You can eat them hot or store them in the fridge to eat them the following days.


You can add to the dough cinnamon, sesame, spices, anise, nutmeg or a spoon of liquor. Other way of aromatizing it is boiling the milk with the spices, the cinnamon of even a nice tea variety. If you drain the dough hard enough you can insert at the core of each roll a bit of chocolate before frying them.


Instead of grated lemon skin use skin from an orange or an apple. You can also cook them only using the egg’s white or even without egg at all, but remember that in such case you will have to drain the dough harder and fry them in hotter oil because they will tend to dissolve by the borders a bit.

An alternative to having to eat them only when you have bread left is freezing them in order to have them ready to fry the very day you want to eat them.


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