How to make the real Italian “Panzerotti”

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How to make the real Italian “Panzerotti”

Today I give you the real recipe for Italian “Panzerotti”. It is a typical traditional Italian dish, in particular from the Puglia region.

What is Panzerotto? Panzerotto originated in Apulia probably from a baker or housewife who turned some leftover bread dough into a small pizza, filled it with tomato and mozzarella cheese and closed it in a crescent shape, and then fried it in seed oil.

To make them we will need just a few simple ingredients, and you will see that they will be so good that they will go fast! They will certainly be appreciated by children, partly because they are perfect to make with them, who will enjoy getting their hands into the dough but especially eating them once they are cooked.

This recipe reminds me of my childhood.

In fact, every Sunday with my family we went to a pastry shop that prepared hot panzerotti. My sister and I, use to eat lots of them! I still remember their scent!

Panzerotti are perfect for a family dinner or at a buffet table at a party.

The real recipe of Italian Panzerotti that I propose, have a classic filling, with tomato and mozzarella, but you can fill them with different fillings, such as cooked ham and mozzarella, etc.

We can also freeze raw panzerotti, already stuffed, and then fry them still frozen.

Can you bake panzerotti? Pugliese Panzerotti can also be baked in a static oven at 200 °C (392° F) for 20 minutes or ventilated at 190 °C (374° F) for 15-20 minutes until they are nicely browned. In this case, however, it is best to brush them first with egg yolk or olive oil, or a little tomato puree.

Follow my recipe of the real recipe of Italian Panzerotti step by step and you will amaze all your guests!

Traditional Italian panzerotti filling with mozzarella and tomato sauce
Traditional Italian panzerotti filling with mozzarella and tomato sauce

Recipe Difficulty Level: not too tricky

Ingredients for the dough of Italian Panzerotti:

  • 500 g (4 cups plus 2 tbsp) of flour (00)
  • 300 ml (1¼ cups) of lukewarm water
  • 3 g (0.10 oz) of dried brewer’s yeast 
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp of granulated sugar
  • 10 g (2 tsp) of salt

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 325 g (11.5 oz) of mozzarella
  • 200 g (7 oz) of tomato puree(passata)
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Oregano
  • Sunflower oil (to fry)

PS: For leavened, cakes and sweets, I recommend using a scale that measures grams and oz so that you can measure the ingredients accurately and get a great result. You can purchase the scale by clicking directly here.

How to make real and traditional Italian panzerotti

Method:

To make the real recipe of Italian Panzerotti just start cutting the mozzarella into cubes and let it drain for a few hours.

In a bowl, add the flour, the brewer’s yeast, and the sugar and mix it with your hands.

In another bowl, pour the water and add salt, and extra-virgin olive oil and mix it always with your hands.

Little by little, add the flour (previously mixed with the yeast and the sugar) to the water mixed with salt and oil.

Knead it until the mixture becomes homogeneous and elastic.

Mix it a little bit more on a working plan.

Now that the dough is ready, put it in a bowl and with a knife incise the dough by drawing a cross.

Cover it with a cling film and leave it to rise for a couple of hours in a warm place.

(Usually, I put it in the oven and I turn on only the light).

After two hours, the volume of the dough should be double.

On a floured working plan, take the dough and divide it into small balls (about 80 g (2.8 oz) each). We will obtain about 10/12 dough balls.

Put the balls in a baking try covered with baking paper, and leave them to rise in a warm place form another 20 minutes.

In the meantime, let’s prepare the filling!

In a bowl put the mozzarella (cut into small cubes), add the tomato puree (or passata), salt, black pepper, and oregano, and mix all the ingredients.

After 20 minutes, pose your dough balls on a working plan and spread a little flour on the table and expand the pastry on it using a rolling pin until you obtain round dough (not too thin).

At the center of the round dough, add some of the mixture prepared for the filling.

Wet the corners with a little bit of water, then close it by folding it. With a fork, close the borders well so that when you fry the dough does not open.

In a pot, pour a good quantity of sunflower oil and warm it. Try to immerse a toothpick in the oil, if you see small balls, it means that the oil is ready to fry (usually, the right temperature is 170 C (338 ° F)).

Fry the ‘panzerotti’ in deep oil until they brown on both sides (it will take about 4 minutes for each side).

Once fried, take them out from the oil and pose them on absorbent kitchen paper in order to eliminate the oil.

Suggestion: 

You can also cook them in the oven at 200 C (392 °F) for 20 minutes until they become brown (in this case, it is better to brush them with egg yolk or olive oil, or a little bit of tomato sauce)

I suggest you eat them hot!

Buon appetito!

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4 thoughts on “How to make the real Italian “Panzerotti””

  1. So, I have frozen panzarotti, do I cook the same as raw. Hot temp for 4 to 5 minutes on each side.?

    1. Hi Karin, yes, you can cook them directly frozen. Be sure to watch out for oil splattering!
      The oil temperature should be about 170 C (338 °F)(I use a kitchen thermometer). It should only take 2 or 3 minutes per side (about 4-5 minutes total), they are ready when they are nicely browned.
      I recommend that you fry a few at a time because being frozen may lower the oil temperature.

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