Those fried pizza dough balls are so addictive and make them the perfect appetizer for any day party! They’re so puffy inside with a lightly crunchy texture on the outside and filled with a gooey melted cheese and tomato sauce.
Add salt to the water and mix with a spoon to dissolve. Place flour, yeast, and sugar on the bowl of a stand mixer with the hook attached and mix it through over medium speed.
Set the speed to low and slowly add half the water and half the oil.
Turn the mixer up to medium and add the remaining oil, then add more water (but not all), kneading until you’ll achieve a smooth and slightly sticky dough (read notes).
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled surface, make a ball and place it on a greased bowl.
Cover with cling film and let it proof for about 2 hours in a warm environment or until the dough has doubled in size.
MAKE THE TOMATO SAUCE
In a small saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the tomato sauce and then garlic, oregano, parsley, and basil.
Season with salt and pepper and let it simmer at low heat for about 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Turn off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
MAKE THE PIZZA BALLS
Once the dough is ready place it onto a floured bench and knead it lightly to degas it. Divide the dough into two parts and roll each into a log.
Cut each log into 9-10 pieces about the same size (I used a kitchen scale and each piece weighed about 40 g).
Lightly dust with flour a smooth surface where you will place the stuffed balls later.
Lightly oil your hands. Take one of the balls and flat it a little bit. Add a teaspoon of sauce in the middle, then a slice of pepperoni (salami), and then some mozzarella cheese.
Pull the borders to the center and pinch the edges together to seal. Use the palms of your hands to carefully re-shape the ball. Place it seam side down on the floured surface.
Repeat until all the dough pieces are assembled. Cover with cling film and allow to rest for about 15 minutes.
In a deep frying pan, heat a generous amount of frying oil. Working in batches, fry the pizza balls for about 3-4 minutes or until puffy and brown.
Transfer the balls to a paper towel-lined plate and serve with the remaining tomato sauce.
You might not need all water because flours brands vary in each country, that’s why you need to add the water little by little. But, if you notice you still need more water than the suggested on the recipe, add one tablespoon at time.
Do not use so much sauce to fill the balls. If you do so, the balls will crack when they’re frying and the sauce will come out the dough.
Give the dough the proper time to proof, this is the only way to obtain fluffy and light balls. In warm weather, the dough takes about 1 hour and a half to double in size and in winter it takes from 3 to 4 hours.
If you want the dough to rise more quickly you can place the bowl inside the oven turned off with the lights on.
Not worry if the pizza dough balls deforms a bit when you take them, they will puff and form a nice ball while frying.
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