Sicilian Fried Dough Balls – Christmas in Italy

4.5 from 4 reviews


  • pounds flour
  • 1½ cups warm water or more as needed
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 to 3 tsp. salt (she poured salt into her hand and dumped it in)
  • about 4 cups peanut oil for frying
  • Filling:
  • 1-lb block provolone cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 package pepperoni
  • 1 can anchovies (preferably in water, not oil)
  • 1 bag Dove Dark Chocolate Promises


  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water and allow to activate for a few minutes. Mix in the oil.
  2. Mix flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the yeast to the flour and mix well with a dough hook. Continue mixing until all the flour is incorporated and dough is shiny, smooth, and elastic — add more warm water a few tablespoons at a time if it is too dry. Dough should not be sticky!
  3. Remove from bowl and roll into smooth ball. Using your fingers or a paper towel, coat the inside of a large bowl with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place the ball of dough into the bowl, roll it around so it gets oil on all sides, cover with a clean dish towel and allow to rest in a warm place until it doubles in size.
  4. Tear off pieces of dough and roll in palms to form a nice size ball. Flatten a little so you can insert the filling. Roll into ball again and place on a floured board. Continue making balls until you use all the dough.
  5. Cover board with a towel and allow to rest 10 minutes.
  6. Drop balls into hot oil (350ºF) in a deep fryer. Fry until golden. Eat immediately.

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