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. Pettole can easily be made sweet by dipping in honey orVincotto, or just with a sprinkle of sugar.

Crispy and Fluffy Fried Apulian Pettole



50 – 60
Preparation + Frying Time:
20 min + 30 min
Rising Time:
3 h
3h 50 min


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


  • 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.

TIP: 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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