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How to make classic tomato and mozzarella panzerotti


Panzerotti is a classic Italian dish. The steamy hot pocket is typically filled with zesty tomato and gooey cheese, making it an obvious comfort food. The dish hails from Puglia, Italy…and so does Chef Massimo Bruno, so we asked him to show us how to make the Italian staple.

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Panzerotti

WHAT YOU NEED
For basic dough (alternatively you can use store-bought pizza dough)

  • 300 gr. flour 00, plus more for dusting
  • 200 gr. fine semolina “rimacinata” fine milled durum
  • 150 gr milk
  • 150 gr warm water
  • 15 gr fine sea salt
  • 25 gr olive oil
  • 1 package active dry yeast

For the stuffing

  • 1.5 lbs mozzarella (you can use half and half fresh mozzarella and harder mozzarella ball)
  • 1 cup chopped peeled Italian tomatoes
  • Black pepper QB
  • A handful fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons grated romano cheese
  • Salt QB

To fry:

  • 2 lt Sunflower oil
  • 1 egg white to seal the panzerotti with a little brush

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Activate the yeast following the package instructions.
  2. In a large enough bowl add both types of flour and mix well. Make a whole in the centre.
  3. Add water, olive oil, yeast, milk and salt.
  4. Start the liquid thoroughly with flour until it’s fully incorporated
  5. Knead the dough for 10 minutes. If it’s still a little too wet, add little more flour.
  6. Once done, create little balls of dough the size of large golf balls, and add them into a pan dusted with flour. Cover with plastic wrap and put somewhere warm to rise for 1 to 2 hours, until they double in volume. (I put them in the oven with just the light on to make it warm).
  7. Finely dice the fresh mozzarella and shred the hard mozzarella ball.
  8. Place cheese in mixing bowl and add chopped tomatoes, romano cheese, basil (torn in small piece) and black pepper. Mix well and let all the ingredients season together until you’re ready to make panzerotti.
  9. Add 2 inch of oil into a wok or deep frying pan. Set the oil at high heat.
  10. Start rolling the dough balls till they are about ¼ inch thick  
  11. Dust with flour periodically while rolling to avoid sticking
  12. Once done, start making panzerotti 3 or 4 at a time. Add roughly one tablespoon of mozzarella in the centre of the pie, brush all around with egg white, fold over the dough to create a half moon. Put a little pressure on the edge of the panzerotti and lightly punch the edge to seal them.
  13. Once the oil is hot, add some flour to the oil – if it’s hot enough it will sizzle
  14. Add 2 or 3 panzerotti at the time, and reduce the heat to medium. Turn the panzerotti once they are lightly gold and turn them few more time, in this way, it will cook well inside and it will melt the mozzarella.
  15. Sometimes the panzerotti can break while cooking – do your best to seal them when making them but still it will happen sometimes. Don’t worry!

Enjoy them hot, but be careful – let them cool a few minutes first!