I bet you want to try one of these Italian panzerotti
Tell me, have you ever tasted one of these panzerotti?!? If not. Seriously. What is wrong with YOU?!? Haha, just kidding. What I meant to say is … seriously, you’ve got to try one as soon as possible! Because I bet you’d love them as much as I do.
And what’s not to love about homemade pizza dough filled with melty fresh mozzarella and flavorful tomatoes, a hint of oregano or fresh basil, all fried until steamy hot and perfectly golden?!?
Take a look. Don’t you really want to take a bite NOW?!?
Panzerotti (plural of panzerotto) might look like a small calzone. But it’s really not. Calzoni are folded and baked pizza. While panzerotti are fried and smaller.
They can be eaten as an appetizer, or a few of them as main dish. They are typical street food originally from Puglia, but very popular all over Italy.
I can find these here in Santa Monica. Forma restaurant has them on their menu, and trust me, they are out of this world.
So here it is! Finally on the blog my recipe for Italian panzerotti. All I can say is … It’s about time!
Before you start with the recipe, here are a few suggestions, especially if you are making these the first time.
- Prepare the dough with plenty of time for it to rise. I generally make the dough in the morning which will be perfect for dinner time.
- Let the fresh mozzarella and tomatoes sit in the colander for at least 15 to 30 minutes before stuffing the panzerotti. You want the least amount of liquid, to keep the dough dry when frying.
- When rolling the dough, don’t make it too thin or it will break when folding or handling.
- Don’t stuff the panzerotti too much, or they might explode when frying.
- Once you stuff the panzerotti, drop them in the hot oil to fry right away. If the uncooked panzerotto sits for too long it will become soggy and impossible to fry.
- I like to fry with the folded part of the panzerotto side down in the oil. And then turn it half way. I find that it’s less likely that the seem will open up when frying if it goes in first.
I think I’ve got it all covered now. Ready to start with the recipe?!?
Oh wait. Before you go… I’ve been listed as one of the Top Italian Food Blogers by Good Tastes of Tuscany. Woohoo!
YIELD: about 10 to 12 panzerotti
For the dough:
- 1 cup (140 gr) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (280 gr) bread flour
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 packet (1/4 oz, 7 gr) active dry yeast
- about 8-9 oz warm water
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
- 2 large fresh mozzarella (8 oz, 250 gr)
- 14 oz (490 gr) canned cubed tomatoes, drained
- dried oregano and/or fresh basil
- oil for frying
- salt and pepper to taste
TIME: 45 minutes to prepare, plus at least 3 hours inactive
Prepare the pizza dough (at least 4 hours in advance):
In a mixer or food processor, add 2 cups of bread flour, 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of sugar and the packet of active dry yeast.
Mix to combine.
Dissolve the salt into 8 oz of warm water.
Gradually add the water while mixing.
Add more water if necessary, some at a time, until you get an elastic soft (but not too soft) dough.
Mix for several minutes with the food processor. Or move the dough to the counter (lightly floured) and knead for a few minutes. Until the dough is fragrant and elastic.
Make into a bowl, place in a bowl, sprinkle with flour, cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel.
Place in a draft-free place to rest (I normally put it inside the oven turned off).
Wait for at least three hours, until the dough as doubled in size.
Divide the dough into 10 to 12 balls about the same size. Let them rest while you prepare the filling.
Prepare the filling:
Cut the mozzarella and tomatoes into small cubes. Mix together in a colander with salt, pepper, oregano and/or fresh basil cut in small pieces.
Let the water drain out onto a plate placed under the colander. You want the stuffing to be the least watery as possible, so liquid will not escape from the dough when frying.
Roll out each dough into a disc. About 8 inches in diameter.
The little pizza needs to be thin but no too thin or it might break.
Add a big spoon full of filling in the middle of the pizza. Fill each panzerotto, but don’t over-fill it. If there’s too much filling the panzerotto will break (explode :)) when frying.
Lightly brush half of the edge of the pizza dough with water.
Fold the dough in half. And press down around the edges to seal.
Roll the edge a little to seal better with your fingers.
Fry each panzerotto a few minutes on each side until golden and puffy.
I recommend frying while you go. So have a big pan with hot oil ready, and fry right after you assemble the panzerotti. If you let sit the stuffed dough on the counter it will get soft and mushy and it will be impossible and quite messy to fry.
I like to fry the folded side down first (so it’s less likely it will break later), and turn once that first side is golden.
Serve when still hot! And enjoy 🙂