I don’t know what possessed me exactly, but felt the need to fuse the concepts of sufganiyot and pizza. So, what you see here is fried pizza dough, stuffed with cheese and sauce. Kind of like mozzarella sticks, but with a thick yeast dough crust. Kind of like sufganiyot, but savory instead of sweet.
Frying gives the dough a very thin, chewy exterior and very, very light interior, with large air bubbles. Using a very wet dough helped with the lightness, but necessitated dusting the exterior with cornmeal, which gives its own crunch and flavor.
Actually, I didn’t invent the concept. If you want to see a photo essay about this traditional Neapolitan treat, got here.
I found that it was hard to keep in the tomato sauce, so, I think it is a better idea to stuff these with plenty of cheese, but serve the sauce warm on the side, like with mozzarella sticks.
1 lb. pizza dough (2 cups/9 ounces flour, 6 ounces warm water, 1 tsp. yeast, 1 tsp. kosher salt mixed together and refrigerated overnight)
Cut the dough into 6 pieces. Sprinkle some cornmeal on the work area (lined sheet pan). Spread out the dough into a large circle. Put a chunk of cheese in the center (1″ cube or slightly larger). Wrap the dough around the cheese, seal to completely enclose the cheese and shape the dough to make a round bun about 3″-4″ in diameter.
Let the buns rest, covered, for about 45 minutes.
Heat a couple inches of oil in a heavy pot. When the oil is about 360 degrees (it should shimmer), carefully drop in a ball of dough (I did one at a time). When it browns on the bottom, flip it. It will puff up dramatically. When it browned all over, take it out and drain it.
Serve with warm tomato sauce on the side.
Bonus: if you want to see how to fry, take a look at this post from Zoe on making sufganiyot. If you have challah dough, you can follow this procedure to make sufganiyot, stuffing with jam, of course, and adding the filling after the dough has been fried.
Update: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day has just posted their version of this, stuffed with ricotta cheese. That is what I am trying next!
Tags: pizza frita