Whenever you have bread or pizza dough, don’t forget the charm of fried bread dough, and you do not need to deep fry it! I’ll show you how.
Originally published on September 18, 2012.
This fried dough is not deep friend, but simply pan fried on each side, so it’s super easy and unfussy to make.
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I remember walking with my husband to a fancy French restaurant in London quite a few years ago. We passed a noisy pub, filled with boisterous patrons enjoying their hearty food and drinks. They were playing darts and essentially having a fabulous time.
Cut to the fancy French restaurant: the atmosphere was the complete antithesis of the pub–you could hear a pin drop, and there was a sprinkling of guests here and there, but most of the tables were empty.
How I longed to leave and go back to the pub as we were only in London that one night. Alas, we were graciously invited to eat at this establishment, and so my yearning for comfort food had to be quelled.
I tried to keep an open mind, and enjoy the extremely expensive meal, but I must say I tasted one of the most vile substances I have ever had that night. It came in the form of aspic served in an espresso cup. I’m still not sure what it was, but it tasted of spoiled fish! The worst part was that there was nothing else on the table to eat to take the flavor out of my mouth!
So where am I going with all this? My point is that in order to make that awful gelatinous concoction, it likely took a lengthy process, and expensive ingredients. I know it’s comparing apples to oranges, but I just think of how simple it is to take flour, water, yeast and salt and end up with delicious fried bread.
When I was growing up, one of my favorite treats was fried bread dough or fried pizza dough. My mother sometimes baked it in an aluminum foil pie pan, and to this day, I cannot see one of the pans without thinking of the plain baked bread she used to make.
You can make your own dough, or use dough that you’ve purchased, but just make sure not to buy dough with lots of ingredients and dough conditioners, etc. It should just contain the basic flour, water, yeast and salt (sometimes oil). However, it’s so incredibly easy to make no knead bread dough, or no knead pizza dough there’s really no excuse to buy it anymore.
My family eats fried bread dough plain, but you can rub some cut garlic over the top. You could even sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on it, or spread it with a chocolate hazelnut spread. They were doing this at an event I just attended in a small village in Italy last month.
They are called “frittelle” and although, they are deep frying them here, it’s not necessary for really great results.
This is similar to a simple county fair type treat. You can even substitute the fried dough for a pita when making gyros.
If you prefer to bake this, make sure to put enough oil in the tray. Bake it in a very hot oven, about 450˚ to 500˚F (260˚C).
Fried Bread Dough or Pizza Dough
Pizza Fritta or Frittelle
- one recipe of pizza dough or dough you have purchased (note the recipe here requires 12-18 hrs to rest, so plan accordingly)
- extra virgin olive oil
Cut off a piece of dough, and roll it out on a well floured surface. I usually make them about the size of the frying pan I’m using.
Heat some olive oil in a frying pan, over medium high heat (it doesn’t need to be non-stick.) Make sure the pan is very hot, then place the dough in the pan. It will begin to rise, and bubbles will appear.
Once it is golden brown underneath, turn it over. Tongs work well, so you don’t make holes with a fork.
When golden brown on the second side, remove to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining dough.
This is definitely best eaten hot!
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- -one recipe of pizza dough (see recipe card below)
- -extra virgin olive oil
- Cut off a piece of dough, and shape it into a round on a well floured surface (do not use a rolling pin). I usually make them about the size of the frying pan I'm using.
- Heat some olive oil in a frying pan, over medium high heat (it doesn't need to be non-stick.) Make sure the pan is very hot, then place the dough in the pan.
- It will begin to rise, and bubbles will appear. Once it is golden brown underneath, turn it over.
- When golden brown on the second side, remove to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining dough.
- The recipe below requires 12-18 hrs to rest, so plan accordingly)
- Top with your favorite ingredients or eat plain.
- You can sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and call them elephant ears (carnival food).
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 202Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 173mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g
Nutrition info is only estimated.
- 4 cups (18 oz) all-purpose flour (to make it even better use 00 flour)
- 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
- 2 tsp Diamond Kosher or sea salt
- 1/8 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsps quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups (12 oz) warm water
For the dough.
- Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Make a well and pour in the water and oil. Stir just until everything is thoroughly mixed into a slightly sticky dough. Cover with cling wrap and let rise for approximately 18 hours, or until doubled in size.
For the topping and assembly.
- Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Taste for saltiness, adding more if necessary. If you accidentally add too much salt, just add more tomatoes. (Use an immersion blender to puree the tomatoes.)
- Prepare two 12x16 (or smaller, if you like a thicker crust) baking trays by drizzling with some extra virgin olive oil, avoiding the edges.\
- When the dough is ready, knock it down with a spatula, then place it onto a well floured surface and knead for a minute and divide into two equal pieces.
- Shape the dough into 12 x 16 rectangles and place on each tray. Drizzle with some more olive oil, and rub all over the dough, again, avoiding the edges.
- Let rise for about 10 minutes in a warm, draft-free place.
- Heat the oven to it's hottest setting, minimum of 500ºF (260ºC) then evenly spread the tomato topping on the dough.
- When the oven is ready, place one pizza on the very bottom of the oven for 4 or 5 minutes. Then move to the center of the oven for another 5 to 7 minutes. (These cooking times will vary depending on your oven and oven temperature.) Just lift the pizza with a fork to peek underneath and see if the bottom is brown. The bottom should look like this when it is ready: The pizza crust should be light brown on top too-I left this one a little pale as I was going to reheat it in the oven later.
- Remove the pizza from the oven, and place it on a surface on which to cut it. Cut the pizza into larger pieces which can be folded in half and eaten this way
! Tomato Sauce or Topping for Pizza
about 12 oz tomatoes (fresh or Italian puree)
one or two diced, fresh, roma tomatoes
2 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp Diamond Kosher salt or sea salt, to taste
2 large cloves of fresh garlic, minced (do not use garlic in a jar)
fresh basil, finely chopped (2 or 3 leaves)
1/2 tsp of good quality dried oregano
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 2 slices
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 406Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1176mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 10g
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