Panzerotti are deep-fried calzone, i.e. deep-fried filled pizza! They are delicious street food from Puglia in the deep south of Italy. In Campania they are called calzoni fritti. The funny thing is that I did not get to know these from a visit to Puglia (when I was there I didn’t even see them), but because I heard about them from Panzero’ Apulian Street Food, who are setting up a chain of panzerotti shops from Rotterdam.
I made them today on the boat to feed the hungry boat improvement crew. Everyone loved them, and I will definitely make these again. You could make them with regular pizza dough, but for a nicer crust I used milk and added potato. The basic filling consists of tomato, mozzarella, and oregano. You can add other ingredients such as tuna, capers, and olives, or prosciutto and mushrooms, or bell peppers and artichoke hearts. Here’s what I did…
For about 24 panzerotti (feeds 8-12)
1000 grams pizza flour
250 grams boiled potatoes (about 2 medium potatoes)
40 grams fresh yeast (or 14 grams instant dry yeast)
560 grams milk
20 grams salt
500 grams mozzarella
500 grams sieved tomatoes (tomato puree, passata di pomodoro)
other ingredients for the filling (optional)
oil for deep frying
Start by peeling and boiling the potatoes.
Meanwhile, cut the mozzarella into small pieces and allow them to drain in a sieve or colander.
When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and mash them. You should have 250 grams of mashed potatoes in the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the paddle.
Add 560 grams of milk.
Turn on the stand mixer until the potatoes and milk are mixed.
Crumble the frest yeast into the milk.
Add 1000 grams of pizza flour.
Turn on the stand mixer…
…until the dough comes together.
Replace the paddle with the dough hook.
Knead on low speed until the dough is wrapped around the hook, about 5 minutes.
Add a tablespoon of salt, and continue to knead on low speed until the salt has been incorporated.
Scrape the dough off the dough hook.
Cover the dough with a tea towel and allow it to rise until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
Divide the dough into balls of about 80 grams each. Put those balls on a floured surface underneath a tea towel.
Mix the mozzarella with the sieved tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and dried oregano.
Heat the oil in the deep fryer to 180C/350F.
Take a ball of dough and roll it out on a floured work surface to a circle with a diameter of about 20 cm (8 inches).
Put two heaped tablespoons of filling next to the center.
Fold the dough in two, and press down on the edges with your finger. It is important to seal the dough well, as otherwise the panzerotto will burst open when it is deep fried.
Use a fork to seal it even better.
Deep fry the panzerotto as soon as possible, to avoid soaking the dough with the filling.
Deep fry the panzerotto at 180C/350F…
…until it is golden on both sides.
Allow to drain on paper towels, then serve. Be careful when eating, because the filling will run out easily.
A bit over two years ago, we visited Richard and make this fusion dish together of ancho chile and bacon ravioli. I still miss him every day.