holiday obsession: pepperoni rolls and frittae

Pepperoni-rolls
 
Every year, a flurry of baking and frying occurs at my parent's house the days before Christmas.

 
Most insiders know to come over on Christmas Eve morning.  You'll get a taste of the good stuff hot out of the oven or fryer.  Our family and friends gather around the kitchen table or congregate on the deck (where the frying occurs) to wait for a piece of squid or whiting.  I'm always waiting on the pepperoni rolls and frittae (Italian fried dough).  It's one of the highlights of my holiday season and it's delicious.  
 
Below are the recipes for my two favorites, pepperoni rolls and frittae.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! 
 
You can use frozen dough for these recipes, but my Uncle and Dad prefer to make their own. This is my Dad's dough recipe in his own words, with a few edits.  For all of you that ate at our restaurants, this is THE DOUGH.   You can also use it for pizza or calzones (so pay attention!)
 
Pepperoni rolls
 
Dough:
4 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp salt
1 pkg dry yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
2 cups warm water
2 packages sliced pepperoni rounds

In a food processor bowl, place the flour, salt, yeast, and sugar. Mix. With the motor running, pour in the water a little at a time to make a dough that cleans the sides of the bowl. Whirl the dough about 30 times, adding a little more flour if the dough seems sticky. Take the dough out of the processor and divide into 3 oz. portions as if making rolls.  Place these portions on an oiled baking sheet and put in the cool oven with a small pot of boiling water.  Let the rolls double in volume (about 1 hour).  Working on a cutting board, flatten each portion, add 6 to 8 slices of pepperoni.  Wrap the pepperoni with the dough, close the ends and place the roll back on the baking sheet (seam side down).  Place the baking sheet back in the oven and let the rolls rise until doubled in size. Again about 1 hour.  It's ok if the rolls touch each other. Once the rolls have risen, bake at 350 degrees until a light brown.  Turn the baking sheets in the oven for even baking.  Don’t forget to take the pot of water out of the oven.  (thanks for the reminder Dad!)

Frittae
Frittae (Fried dough or Italian Donuts)

Using the same dough recipe, divide the dough into 2 oz portions and put a hole in the middle of the dough with your thumb.  Place on an lightly oiled baking sheet and place in the oven to double in size.  Using a large frying pan, add about ½ inch of frying oil.  I prefer an electric skillet because it keeps the temperature constant at 350 degrees.  Once the oil reaches 350, take a dough ball and expand it to 4 or 5 inches.  This is done by using your fingers of both hands and stretching the center until the doughnut is now about 4 to 5 inches.  The doughnut will be an oblong shape.  Place in the hot oil until brown on one side.  Turn once.  Remove and place on paper towels to drain.  We add a little sugar to a paper bag, add the frittae and shake.  Again, these are best when eaten warm from the frying pan.  I also love them with coffee two or three days later when they get rock hard.

 

 

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