Italian Fried Dough
Fried…dough…really? Just around the time when those healthy eating resolutions are starting to weigh heavy (no pun intended) and that strong willpower is beginning to weaken….ooh, I am so sorry.
But just take a bite…a little bite….warm and soft with a sweet sugary kiss on the lips. If you grew up on these as I did, it is a sentimental kiss, one that warms my soul with precious memories.
Every so often my mom would surprise us by making fried dough. Usually on a weekend, for lunch or an afternoon treat. She would use her pizza dough, extra from pre-making pizza crusts that she would freeze, and shape little balls of dough into flat rounds. Larger ones, like pita bread size, were made first to have as a bread for making sandwiches; the favorite filling combination was salami and ricotta cheese. With the warm fried dough, salami and ricotta cheese is a mix of flavors that marry together in much-loved harmony.
After our fried dough sandwiches where eaten, the dessert treat was served. With a small amount of remaining dough, she would make these little balls of dough, frying them up in a shallow amount of oil – not deep frying – and then quickly rolling them lightly in sugar. As soon as they were made, they were brought from stove to table and immediately devoured! I don’t ever recall any left over!
There really is no recipe, other than using a good pizza dough recipe, a large skillet with about a quarter inch of olive oil heated to immediately brown up the dough, flipping one time. For the larger size, my mom would prick them with a fork to keep them flat and not puff up too much. From skillet to a paper towel lined baking sheet, she’d keep some warm in the oven until all were made. Later, the pan was wiped clean, reheated with more oil and the little dough treats were made. A bowl of sugar was nearby to immediately roll them in after they were placed on the paper towel but still warm.
I will be making these for the upcoming Superbowl game. I plan on making a variety of pizzas and then for a special dessert treat, these little fried dough balls served with warm dipping chocolate….oh my!