The Neapolitan Fried Pizza (Pizza Fritta Napoletana). In Naples, fried pizza is an essential street food that comes in more than one format.
The most basic is pizze fritte, which looks, essentially, like a fried calzone or more sophisticated pizza pocket: Very thin dough turned bubbly in the oil and is wrapped around tomato, cheese, and meat.
- For crust
- 1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1/2 cup warm water (105-115°F)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading and dusting
- About 5 cups olive oil
- For tomato sauce and toppings
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, 2 crushed and 3 minced
- 2 lb plum tomatoes, halved, seeded, and finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 oz fresh mozzarella (not unsalted), cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or loosely packed small whole basil leaves
- Special Equipment
- a deep-fat thermometer
Make dough for crust:
- Stir together yeast and water in a measuring cup and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
- Stir together salt and 1 cup flour in a large bowl, then add yeast mixture and 1 tablespoon olive oil and stir until smooth. Stir in just enough remaining flour (1/4 to 1/2 cup) for dough to come away from side of bowl.
- Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead, sprinkling with just enough flour to keep dough from sticking, until smooth, soft, and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Dust dough all over with flour and put in a bowl. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Make sauce and assemble toppings while dough rises:
- Heat oil (1/4 cup) in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat until hot, then cook crushed garlic, stirring, until pale golden, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and increase heat to moderately high, then cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl. Discard crushed garlic if desired.
- Put cheeses, basil, and minced garlic in separate bowls and keep, covered, at room temperature until ready to use.
- Heat 1 inch oil in a deep 12- to 13-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until it registers 350°F on thermometer.
- While oil heats, divide dough into 8 portions and stretch each portion with floured hands, pressing on work surface, to form 4-inch rounds (don’t worry if they are irregularly shaped).
- Fry rounds 2 at a time, turning over once with tongs, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per batch, and transfer to a paper-towel-lined platter to drain. (Return oil to 350°F between batches.)
- Spread each fried dough round with some sauce and sprinkle with toppings. Pizza should be eaten immediately, folded in half.
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