The desire to cook fades away and we fall for the food assembly game. Here come fresh fruit or mixed vegetables skewers, thinly sliced meats that require fast cooking and cheese platters with raw vegetables.
In late June, however, we celebrated Andrea’s birthday and I decided to get in the kitchen to make one of the thing I like most and which for me is the official symbol of summer: fried bread dough!
You can find it in every country fair in Tuscany, this fried dough has the scent of the first nights out, it reminds my of school holidays and of the evening coming home from a day spent at the seaside.
I love it but I had never made it before. Andrea had tasted the country fair one, but after trying mine he said that there is no comparison, mine was way better. Maybe because he helped me to prepare it, maybe because he saw it swell and change colour while dancing in hot oil, maybe all these things made him appreciate it more, the actual fact though is that fried bread dough is really delicious. Here in Mantua this fried dough is not known and so it was a tasty surprise for the friends who shared with us a wonderful birthday party.
I decided to prepare my fried bread dough starting from sourdough, the long leavening made the dough soft and very digestible, the frying process gave us a dough that was crisp and golden on the outside and soft on the inside. When submerged in hot oil the dough swells and after a few minutes of cooking is ready to be enjoyed accompanied by cold cuts and soft cheeses like stracchino, brie, gorgonzola or other blue cheeses. The best pairing is mortadella. I did not sprinkle it with salt after frying it, as per tradition, because I served it with cold cuts and a salted dough would have been too tasty. Of course if it is eaten on its own a good sprinkling of salt really makes it delicious.
To counterbalance this fantastic but not lightweight dish, I prepared some small Capresi on bamboo skewers – cherry tomatoes, cherry mozzarella and basil leaves, and I also prepared some platters full of raw vegetables sticks with vinaigrette.
The fried dough has passed the test and has become one of our favourite dishes to be presented at least once during the summer.
These doses are approximately 35-40 pieces of fried dough
150 g sourdough
300 ml water at room temperature
450-500 g all-purpose flour or 00 flour
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 litre of vegetable oil for frying