Saturday, December 22, 2012

Panzarottis

Since Tuesday is Christmas, I am posting today instead!

So, does everyone already know what panzarottis (pronounced PAHNZ/PANZ-ah-ROW-teez) are?  I have to ask because as I have already probably demonstrated, I am a little out of touch with things.  I was going to launch into what panzarottis are as if no one in the whole wide world has ever heard of them before, but after my Michael Buble post, and my sister calling to give me a hard time because Michael Buble has been around for awhile  
 and I am just hearing of him, it donned on me that maybe people have already heard of panzarotties before.

I always thought it was just a food unique to our family holiday traditions.  And it is, but I never knew panzarottis were for real until I googled it.  Right?  When you have a question, google it.  I wondered if panzarottis were actually a for real thing or if it was just something our family had made up.  To my surprise, they are for real!  I guess they originated in Italy and are described as a deep fried pizza or savory pastry.  I was truly so surprised!  Kind of reminds me of that time when my cousin, then in his late teens realized that our Great Aunt was my Grandma's sister.  All these years he just thought she was a "friend of the family".  True story.

Panzarottis are something my grandma would make, my mom would make and now I too have made it a tradition to make panzarottis on Christmas Eve.  



Panzarottis
From Egg Free Bakery

1 recipe of your favorite pizza or bread dough (In the past I've also used thawed Rhodes roll dough)
Ham, chopped into small pieces
Mozzarella cheese, grated
Oil for frying

Prepare dough according to recipe instructions.  If your dough has a rising time, follow recipe through first rising.  Heat oil in a skillet.  Meanwhile, divide dough into 8 portions.  Roll each portion into a circle.  Spread pizza sauce on half of the circle and sprinkle ham chunks and mozzarella cheese on top.  Fold the untopped side of the dough over the filling to create a half moon shape.  Pinch ends to seal, then fold the seal over again toward the center of the dough and pinch to seal again to create a more secure seal.  (For visual learners, pictures are below). You really want to make sure you get a nice seal otherwise the filling will spill out into the oil and it will pop everywhere and you will be frustrated as I have been a time or two before. Repeat filling and sealing with remaining dough balls.  When oil is ready (I wish I could give you a temperature or something, test the oil by dropping a piece of bread in the oil, if it starts frying right away then it is ready.  My oil usually takes about 15 minutes to heat.  You don't want it too hot though otherwise the outside will get cooked before the inside.  It's happened to me many times)  Carefully place one to two panzarotties in the hot oil.  Fry 2-3 minutes or until golden brown, flip and continue frying another 2 minutes or so until golden brown.  Remove to paper towel lined plate or sheet to drain.  Continue cooking each panzarotti in batches. Serve immediately.  Yield 8 Panzarotties  Serving Suggestion:  I like to serve this along with a veggie platter.

* You can also bake these if you want, however, frying is more traditional (and more yummy.) If you prefer to bake these, bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for about 12-15 minutes.

Visual Instructions:  Roll dough into a circle, pile on toppings, fold dough over into a half moon shape like this and pinch ends to seal:


Then fold the seal you have just pinched over again onto itself and pinch again to seal.  I got fancy and even used a fork prong to crimp the edges to give it a more finished look.  Ta-Da!



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