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pizze fritte
Pizza Fritte with Cinnamon and Sugar (Campanian fried yeast dough, sweetened)
Originated from: Mondragone, Caserta, Campania
Occasion: Any time
Contributed by: Pauline Fresco (Mrs. Angela Giulione's recipe, her mother-in-law)

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For the Pizza dough

5 cups flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 1/2 cups tepid water
1 packet of traditional Fleischmann's dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons or 8g)

For Frying
Vegetable oil

For Garnish
Table sugar


o Place the yeast in 1 1/2 cup of tepid water, stir, and then let it rest for about 15 minutes. If the mixture bubbles up, then the yeast is proofed and ready to be used to make the dough.

o Place the 5 cups of flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the bowl. Add the proofed yeast and a cup of so of water. Mix well. Add the remaining water and work into a pizza dough.

o Place the pizza dough on a lightly wooden board and knead for about half an hour, "punching" the dough as much as possible until the dough is shiny and malleable. Alternatively, a Kitchen Aid can be used.

o Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a large container and cover. To avoid drafts the dough can be placed in a conventional oven that is NOT turned on. Let the dough rest for three to four hours or until it doubles in size.

o After the pizza dough has doubled in size, knead the dough once again.

o Shape the dough into a ball, cover and let it rest for another 2 hours.

o After the dough has rested and increased substantially in volume, remove from bowl.

o Heat up the oil (To test the temperature of the oil one can add a small piece of bread in it. When the piece of bread sizzles, it's hot enough to be used.).

o Take a small junk of dough and stretch it out so that you get a roundish shape about 5 inches in circumference.

o Fry the pizza dough until golden.

o Place the fried pizza dough on kitchen paper towels to usurp excess oil.

o Continue frying the junks of pizza dough.

o Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on each fried junk of pizza dough.

o Serve warm or at room temperature.


Mrs. Angela Giulione, Pauline Fresco's mother-in-law, recalls that in her hometown of Mondragone, Caserta, Campania, which is about 45 minute drive from Naples, pizza fritte was made any old time. When she was growing up in the 1930s the home cooks in her town always said a prayer when they made the dough. In fact, they said two prayers, one for the first kneading, and another for the second kneading. The prayer for the first kneading went as follows: "Crese pane al forno come a chresciuto Gesu per il mondo." In English it can be literally translated as "Grow bread in the oven like Jesus grew in the world." The prayer for the second kneading was as follows: "Chrese pane e masse come a chrescute Gesu con il facio." The second prayer can be translated in English as, "Grow bread while you are being kneaded like Jesus grew in his swaddling cloth." Nowadays, few second generation Italians say the prayer or even know there is a prayer to say, but those of Mrs. Angela Giulione's generation always make it a point to invoke God's help when making bread. Prior to World War II if a home cook messed up, a major financial loss would be incurred. That's why home cooks did more than hope for the best -- they put their trust in God.... Photo: Mary Melfi.

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