Panzerotti baresi (a typical dish from Bari) are a great pleasure to eat. When they’re hot, just out of the frying pan, they’re lightly crunchy (the fried golden dough on the outside) and moist and savoury inside (the tomato-mozzarella filling). You’ll have to pay attention to the volcanic temperatures of the filling when you bite into them, though!
They're a traditional, unmissable dish during New Year's Eve so make them tonight! (happy new year, btw! :D)
The ingredients are quite easy to find and you won't regret the little bit of effort they require.
It had been months that my friend Claudio Varone and I where planning to make panzerotti. Claudio is an architect, an artist and a wonderful non-professional cook and he’s always ready to experiment in the kitchen with me. Frying is not my favourite thing to do – I can’t stand the smell! – but in my professional kitchen it’s a piece of cake thanks to the huge extractor hood that removes all the not so pleasant smells. So at last we decided it was time to prepare our very first panzerotti.
The experiment was definitely a success, we were really happy of the end result and so where the friends that shared the panzerotti with us.
Making panzerotti is not that difficult, you need a bit of patience and a few - practice makes perfect! - manual skills. This video recipe is a good visual help that complements the written recipe.
Ingredients for A LOT OF PANZEROTTI:
1 kg. type ’00’ flour or plain flour
350 cl. milk
350 cl. bubbly mineral water
14 gr. dry yeast
5 tablespoons e.v. olive oil
1,5 spoons of salt dissolved in a bit of water
4 tins of canned chopped tomatoes (1 kg)
4 mozzarella’s of about 125 gr. each
oregano, salt and black pepper
a lot of sunflower oil for frying
Mound the flour on the table and slowly add olive oil and mineral water mixed with milk.
Dissolve the yeast in 3 tablespoons of water and add it to the flour too.
Kneed until you obtain a relatively soft dough and then add the salt dissolved in a bit of water.
Kneed further until the dough becomes soft and elastic.
Make a dough ball, grease it well with olive oil to avoid drying and leave it to rest in a bowl covered with plastic foil after cutting a cross on it to ease the rising phase.
In the meantime you can strain the peeled tomatoes and the diced mozzarellas to eliminate the excess liquids.
Dust the table with flour and cut the dough in chunks. Make little dough balls and leave to rest on a kitchen cloth, covered with another kitchen cloth.
Mix peeled tomatoes and mozzarella chunks and season with salt, pepper and oregano.
Flatten the dough balls giving them a rounded shape and fill with some mozzarella-tomato mixture.
Seal each panzerotto well pressing the rim with your fingers and remove the excess dough with a pastry wheel.
Seal further using a fork and fry in abundant hot (180°C) sunflower oil, draining on kitchen paper once they’re golden brown.
Serve very hot.