Who doesn’t like pizza? I’m sure there’s somebody out there that doesn’t like pizza but, in general, most folks at least don’t mind eating pizza.
Next question – who doesn’t like fried foods? I know, we aren’t supposed to but sometimes – it’s tasty. Admit it. Even if you have to admit it to yourself. So why not mix the best of both worlds? FRIED PIZZA!!!!
Before your imagination goes crazy – this does not involve anything deep fried in a stick or covered in batter. Sorry, that’s reserved for your favorite fair.
I came up with this recipe out of desperation actually. I’ve been trying to successfully make pizza crust for years. Many have tried to help me and I’m just jinxed. The pizza crust gods hate me. I’ve managed some passable thin crusts and one time I must’ve sacrificed to the right god and came up with a Chicago style crust which rocked. Everything else is, at best, tasty bread with pizza toppings. Tastes fine but it isn’t PIZZA!
One day though the culinary gods did finally smile on me, Awen! My family and I were gluttonously working our way through a local agricultural fair and I bought fried dough for a snack. Deep fried dough covered in “butter” (it isn’t really butter – not by a long shot), cinnamon and sugar. Oh sweet deep fried goodness. Much to my chagrin, I didn’t thoroughly coat one edge in cinnamon and sugar and it was just fried dough. We were also walking by a pizza place and between the smells and the fried dough I came up with an idea – one that could solve my pizza problems. Fried Pizza!
Fried pizza is a comfort food and pretty quick to put together. Make the ingredients from scratch or buy them from the store.
- 1 large ball of pizza dough or bread dough.
- Crushed Tomatoes, Pizza Sauce, Spaghetti Sauce
- Mozzarella cheese
- Ricotta Cheese
- Fresh Basil
- Salt, Pepper, and Pepper Flakes
- Frying oil – peanut oil, shortening, lard, etc…
Cover a deep skillet in approximately 3 inches of oil and heat. I don’t actually take the temperature of my oil but use the end of a wooden spoon to check the heat. To check the oil temperature place the end of the spoon in the oil. If bubbles appear on the wood, you’re at heat. If not, let it sit for a while longer and test again. Once you get to heat you need to regulate the heat a bit – smoking oil isn’t a good thing.
Begin by prepping your dough. I highly recommend making fresh dough. My favorite is a modification of Olive Oil bread found in Zoe Francois’ book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking. I just add half a cup of dried Italian herbs to the dough. Half a recipe of Olive Oil bread is more than sufficient for my family of 4!
Divide up your dough into individual pieces. For my family, I aim for somewhere just shy of a baseball. Stretch, pull and flatten each of the smaller bits of dough into rough circles. When the oil is ready, poke several holes in the dough and gently set into the oil. Fry for 3 to 5 minutes and carefully turn over to fry the other side. You want your crust to be golden brown. Let drain on a paper towel for a few minutes.
The next few steps are up to you – add your toppings! For this recipe, I had leftover goat’s milk mozzarella and ricotta cheese along with meatballs from the night before. As a side note, I highly recommend New England CheeseMaking Co for all your cheese making needs. I sliced the meatballs in half to make them a bit more manageable on the pizza.
Once your pizza is dressed to your liking, place in a 450-degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and melted. Remove immediately from the oven and set aside to cool. Top with salt, pepper, pepper flakes and fresh basil!
Perfect crust pizza!
The pizza crusts can be made well in advance and freeze great. To reheat, thaw crusts overnight and top as normal. Bake in the over at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes.