Fried pizza is a variation from the traditional pizza where the fluffy dough is not cooked in a wooden oven but is fried for a crispier tasting experience!
Putting a name on who invented pizza is a little bit like naming the person responsible for the making of bread. The assembling of such simple ingredients can’t be the work of a single person. However, fried pizza was born towards the end of World War II thanks to the culinary inspiration of the Italian people.
The post-war poverty in Italy was reaching catastrophic levels and a simple dish like pizza – that only required water, flour and yeast – became a rich man’s dish because it had to be cooked in a wooden oven. That’s how the masses started frying their pizza, and sold it on the streets to add to their meager income. Frying pizza was really cheap and did not require the use of an oven, which had become a rare object during those hard times.
The fried pizza would blow up when it the dough would come in contact with the boiling hot olive oil, and that’s how it was possible to cut it in two and stuff it with whatever ingredients were available. As time went by, and the economic upswing overtook the country, the wooden ovens and electric ovens began to enter household kitchens, but fried pizza remained a popular dish thanks to its unique taste.
A small amount of ingredients and a simple recipe, fried pizza is still a popular dish today, made the same way, and now you can make it yourself and enjoy the real taste of Italian magic.
Put the water and salt in a salad bowl and mix well. Add the olive oil and mix again. In another bowl, put the flour and the yeast and in the center add the liquid from the first bowl. Start to make the dough with all the ingredients and little by little add all of the liquid. Knead the mixture until you get a smooth and elastic dough. Give it the shape of a ball and put it in a floured bowl. Cover it with contact paper and place it in a warm place far away from temperature changes. Let the pizza dough rise for about 2 hours.
In the meantime, make the tomato sauce by frying the chopped onion in the olive oil, before adding the crushed (with a fork) peeled tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and let it simmer on low-heat for 20/25 minutes. Shape out little balls the size of an egg with the dough, and place them on a baking tray with a baking sheet. Cover with contact paper and let the dough rise some more for about an hour. With the use of your hands, turn the balls into pizza-shaped discs.
Pour the seed oil in a large frying pan, and let it heat up (170°). Then deep fry the pizza dough (a couple at a time). When the pizzas are golden and fried on both sides, stuff them with the tomato sauce, the mozzarella cheese and cut them in stripes with a few leaves of basil.