I was terrified to meet Grandma D. I was only 21, but madly in love with her beloved grandson (now married 25 years). I remember the day like it was last Tuesday. My husband spoke very highly of his Italian fraternal grandmother, and it was extremely important to me that I make a good impression. Well…the truth is, I screwed up. Big time. My nerves got the best of me and when she invited me to sit down at the table and eat a piece of her “Pizza Fritta” she had made fresh that day, I declined 😯 .
I know, I know. One of the biggest mistakes of my life. I mean…how could I??? Not only did it smell like an Italian bakery in my aunt’s kitchen, but everyone knows you should NEVER decline grandma’s treats. NEVER!!!!
As I watched my future husband gobble down his beautiful pizza fritta , I slowly sunk into the kitchen chair feeling like I would never earn her approval after this stunt. I was doomed.
I was also very wrong. Grandma D and I ended up connecting quite well over the years. Especially after we took the kids over for Pizza Fritta 😆 . Here’s proof…
I sure hope you give this “Pizza Fritta” recipe a try. We made it a couple weeks ago and it brought back such wonderful memories of an amazing woman. Thank you, Grandma.
FYI-we used thawed pizza dough, but my husband said Grandma usually used bread dough. There’s no need to go through the trouble of making fresh dough for Pizza Fritta unless you really want to.
TIP: Cut the dough to make your shapes and then flatten them out with your fingers to make them long and flat. They kind of remind me of a piece if fish.
When ever I fry something I worry about the mess it makes. If you use a large pot like we did, you won’t have any mess at all. My aunt also said that she freezes her oil after it cools and reuses it for next time. 2 inches of oil in the pot is sufficient. My husband said it should be enough where the dough doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot when cooking. Never leave hot oil unattended.
TIP: You will know when the oil is hot enough when you drop a tiny piece of dough in the oil and it bubbles. It isn’t ready if it just sits there and doesn’t bubble.
TIP: Grandma used “Gem” oil which is a mix of canola and olive oil. We used canola.
You will need tongs to flip over the fried dough so both sides get golden brown. Once they have achieved that golden brown look, drain them on a paper towel.
After the Pizza Fritta can be handled without burning you, it’s time to sugar coat them by adding granulated sugar to a paper lunch bag and shaking the individual pieces of fried dough in the bag. Be sure to check for holes in the bag so sugar doesn’t go flying everywhere.
- 16 oz. frozen bread/pizza dough defrosted
- Canola or vegetable oil (Grandma used "Gem" oil)
- 3-4 tablespoons granulated sugar
Defrost dough completely if frozen.
Roll dough out on wax paper to help it not stick to counter/board.
Cut dough in desired size pieces (use photo for reference).
Flatten out dough pieces with fingers.
Pour oil in large pot so it's approximately 2 inches high.
Heat oil on medium heat about 5 minutes until it bubbles when you add tiny piece of dough.
Add pieces of dough very carefully so not to splash yourself.
Flip dough over after the edges are golden brown (about 3-4 minutes per side).
Dough is ready when both sides are golden brown.
Use tongs to place each piece on a plate with a paper towel.
After the fried dough has cooled enough to handle, add each piece 1 by 1 to a paper lunch bag filled with sugar (close top) and shake.
Serve immediately with butter if desired (I don't think they need it).
Coffee goes great, too.
TIP: You can add cinnamon to sugar for a Fall treat.
Grandma D’s Chocolate Meatballs (Cookies)
Rick’s Secret Tomato Sauce Recipe
Did you hear about the new e-book?dough, fried, pizza, pizza fritta, recipe Posted by
Love your book and I am going to try to make a few things.
Also am going to make the Frittas, they look yummy. My husband Joe’s father was from Turin and we do a lot of Italian cooking. Joe makes all our spaghetti sauces and soups, he is a great cook.
Looking forward to see what you did in your kitchen.
You are a busy lady, Bette!!
Our family always uses powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar. Yum. You also can pop them open & put some honey or jam in the middle of the cooked pieces.
Yum….can’t wait to make these; it’s perfect Autumn weather for a reason to make these sugary goodies. Love old family recipes; they really keep families connected to the loved ones that have passed. Thank you Julie.
They sure are, Carol!
When I was a kid we used regular refrigerator biscuits in place of bread dough.
What a fantastic idea! Thank you!!!
Hi Carol, Here in South Africa we also have a traditional fried bread dough favourite called “Vetkoek” – literally means Oil Cake or Fat Cake. We make them more round shaped & then cut open on one side & stuff, usually with pre-cooked curried or savoury mince meat. Very popular as a cheap take-away. My husband loves making them for our grandchildren & I just enjoy it sliced open with a bit of Apricot jam – lovely especially if they are crispy on the outside. I am definitely going to try them with sugar next time – looks yummy. Thanks for sharing
Ooooo…these sound delicious!! Thank you fir sharing, Marilyn. Here’s an apricot cookie my Mom loves! https://redheadcandecorate.com/2014/12/apricot-pockets-33-sweets-treats/
Hi loved reading about your Grandma. My mom always made these but we called them Dough Boys. They are very popular at summertime fairs and restaurants near the ocean. Have a great day !
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