Coming back home and be welcomed with a handful of appetizing panzerotti is priceless.

Panzerotto, for all of us born in Bari, is a primary need. When the mood strikes there’s nothing you can do but give up.

It can happen, by the way, that you’re far away from home, in a place where you would be looked at as an alien if you asked for a panzerotto, and you understand it’s time to come to a decision.

I schedule my travel back and count the days until I’ll see the Great Mother, the only and the one who can fulfill my wish. Well, to be honest, my brother Tommaso is as good as her in kneading but I still do not completely rely on his dough!

A phone call can help, one of those where a loving daughter begs her mother to prepare her favorite street food ever! You may not know but panzerotto is His Majesty the King of Apulian street food.

Needless to say, at my arrival, my brother welcomed me with a dish full of the Gods’ food.

So, if you want to try to make them, be aware that, first, they’re addictive, second, here’s what you need for the dough (for 15 panzerotti):

500 g plain flour

20 g brewer’s yeast

2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

2 tbs evoo

A glass of water

Sieve the flour and salt on a work surface and make a well in the middle. In a jug, mix the yeast and the sugar into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well. Add the extra virgin olive oil and using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid. Keep mixing and when it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with your hands. Knead until you have a smooth dough.

Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room until it has doubled in size.

In the meanwhile, prepare the filling with cubed mozzarella, tomatoes and grated cheese (we like Parmigiano Reggiano), some salt and pepper.

Now remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a bit. Divide the dough into 15 little balls, roll them out and stuff them the filling, making sure to leave room around edge for folding. Fold over and seal edges. Preheat oil in deep fryer or large pot to 375°.

Add panzerotti to heated oil cooking for 5 minutes then turn over and cook for another five.

Remove from oil and place on paper towel.

You can go back!

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