Deep-fried bread balls. Need I say anymore? These moreish little dough balls are a Puglian stable when dining at a restaurant or attending a festival. These delectable spheres come to your table just after you’ve ordered your meal from the menu. This always hits the spot in my book. You’re hungry and anticipating devouring your food and then, as if by magic some fried bread arrives in front of you – well, hello! Mounded up on a plate, you find yourself thinking there is no way you’ll be able to eat them all. The next thing you know, you and your partner are in a heated debate discussing who deserves to have the last one. You then decide to cut it in half.
Even though they’re fried, Pittule are unusually light and don’t give you that greasy after taste. And that’s what Italians do so well, making bread seem like a healthy option.
500g ‘00’ Flour
12.5g Fresh yeast
Olive oil for deep frying
Method Makes 40 – 50 Pittule
- Dissolve the yeast in a little of the water.
- Put the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the center.
- Pour the yeast into the middle and a pinch of salt. Pour the remaining water in slowly using your hands to incorporate the flour.
- Knead the wet dough in the bowl by hitting it against the side.
- Leave for 3 hours under a teatowel in a warm place.
- Put approximately 2-3inches of oil (enough to deep fry) in a deep frying pan and heat until piping hot.
- Pick a small amount of the wet dough up with your left hand. Make a fist to push the dough up between your your index finger and thumb. Wet your right hand and scoop the small ball shape from your left hand, then drop into the hot oil. Leave to fry for 30 seconds or so until puffed up and golden.
- Drain on some kitchen towel.
- Sprinkle with a little salt, serve immediately.
*The dough is very wet, don’t be scared. Make sure you knead it in the bowl. Pick it up and slap it against the side of the bowl. It will eventually become a smooth batter.
*You can fry in sunflower oil to save on money, but they don’t taste as nice.