Crispy and Fluffy Fried Apulian Pettole

These small irregular fried balls of yeast dough make me feel the Christmas atmosphere. In my hometown Ostuni, and all-around Apulia, people enjoy eating Pettole during the whole Christmas period, until the 6th of January.

Even now that I’m living in Denmark I want my family to feel the same joyful atmosphere, by preparing the Pettole. We love to eat them simply with a dash of salt but you could make them more tasty stuffing them with anchovies. They can easily be made sweet by dipping them in honey orVincotto, or just with a sprinkle of sugar.

🍷Francesca & Marinella🍴

INGREDIENTS for 50-60 Pettole
20 min to prepare – 3 hours to rise – 30 min to fry

500 g flour
380/400 g warm water
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 fresh yeast
Rice oil or peanut oil (to fry)
salt to season

METHOD

Dissolve the yeast in half of the warm water (about 200 ml).

Pour the flour, the sugar, the water with dissolved yeast and the remaining water in a big bowl and start to knead, preferably with a stand mixer. Add salt and continue to knead until obtaining a smooth dough (without lumps), elastic and sticky. You will see bubbles appear on the surface, that is the sign that the dough is ready.

Place a cloth over the bowl and let rise until the mixture has almost tripled its volume (about 3 hours). Keep the dough in the oven with the light on or in a warm place.

Heat the rice oil or peanut oil in a deep frying pan. The oil temperature cannot be higher than 170 ºC. To check if the oil is ready for frying, drop a small piece of dough into the oil. If it comes back to the top and starts bubbling all around then the oil temperature is perfect to fry.

To spoon up the pettole you can use 2 tablespoons, or your hands (see the video below).

Once the oil has reached the right temperature, fry the pettole working in batches.

With a tablespoon soaked in some water take a spoonful of the dough and gently drop it into the hot oil by pushing it with the back of another spoon.

Fry the pettole until golden and puffy. Drain them on an absorbent paper. Season with salt and serve.

Pettole are equally delicious eaten the day after (even though it is better to serve them immediately while they are still crunchy and warm).

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