There’s never been a time that I’ve served pizzelle fritte (little fried pizza rounds) that my guests haven’t applauded!! Afterall, you can’t really go wrong with this fried pizza recipe– these little rounds puff up when fried and are so light and airy that they just pop into your mouth!
The pizzelle fritte is further testimony to the creativity of the people from the region of Naples when faced with a crisis. At the end of the II World War, the city was ravaged and just about everything was in short supply or impossible to find. Even the pizza napoletana, the staple of the region, had become a luxury since to make it you needed wood for the wood stove plus mozzarella and tomatoes which were either hard to find or way too expensive. What was needed was something easy to make and economical. Thus the creation of the fried pizza, also known at the time as the “people’s pizza” because it was made and sold right out on the streets by local women needing to make additional income for their post-war households.
Marilee’s tip: Remember that the longer you let pizza dough rise, the better it is and the easier it is to digest. That’s why I make my dough the day before and let it rise almost a full 24 hours.
Fried Pizza Ingredients
1/2 cup warm water
1 Tbs olive oil
2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp dry yeast
frying oil (corn or seed oil)
basic tomato sauce (can be made with or without meat)
fresh basil leaves
Fried Pizza Preparation
Follow instructions for your bread machine or food processor or:
Dissolve yeast in the water, then add all other ingredients. Knead the dough for at least 20 min.
Let rise covered in a warm place until doubled (at least 1 hour. Best: 24 hours), punch down and roll out, on a floured surface, to roughly 1/8 inch thick. Cut out rounds of approx. 2 inch diameters, place on lightly floured baking paper and let rest.
Meanwhile heat up approx 1 inch of frying oil, which you have lightly sprinkled with salt, in large frying pan. When the oil is very hot, place the rounds in the oil and fry quickly on each side. Rounds should puff up and turn just slightly brown. Let drain on paper towels. Then spread a light layer of tomato sauce, sprinkle grated parmesan and place a leaf of fresh basil on each round. Serve immediately.