The "Ponza Rotta" (deep fried calzone)

There’s a place in Waukesha WI that is famous for these deep-fried monsters, I’ve been playing with making them, my dough is excellent fried, but I do not trust it holding together in the fryer without a major blowout if I stretch it thin enough to cook properly on the inside.

Does anyone else do these? Could you share a dough formula that will hold up well, and is easy to work with?

try par baking in a regular oven enough to hold its shape first

So nobody makes anything like this?
I’ve watched these guys make these things, they go directly from bench to fryer,
I believe baking first would adversely affect the wonderful fried texture of the dough…

I think I’m going to 0% oil with my dough formula, and add 1.0% sugar for browning and see what I come up with.

I’ve made them many of times over the years. Never put them on the menu though. They never break open on me. I use the same dough and it’s very tasty.

Could you please share your hydration and oil percentage? Do you use a sheeter to open up a dough ball for these?

Maybe if you wet the dough on the seal so it seals better and sticks closed like a ravioli. I have no experience with these things just a thought.

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These were very popular when I was growing up in NY. You don’t see it much anymore, probably for health reasons and eating fried foods etc. The place I used to get them here on Long Island NY at used their regular NY dough, a small pie size, filled with the mix and just folded it over, pressed the edge sealed and fried.
Probably not helpful, but maybe give the edge a foldover and see how that works?

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That’s close to what I am doing, I think my dough is a bit too hydrated though, I plan to make a small batch that is under 60% hydration, then use a sheeter to see if I get a dough that is a little more suited for going from counter to fryer.
I love the texture of my dough when it is fried, it is just too delicate to transfer into the fryer right now, so that’s making me think a stiffer dough will fix it

I made a small batch of dough last night at 55% hydration using only APF for flour, I was able to make a solid shell that stayed together, and I was able to sheet it right after balling. Lets see how it acts with 24 hours age on it.
The flavor was disappointing, the texture was a little weird too, so I sheeted a 12 ounce ball into an 18" pizza and fired that up, and I accidentally duplicated a crust from a place I used to love as a younger man

Because you made this thread we made them as a special using deep dish dough (60%, 19% fat )but made mini and served as app. They sold real well. But definitely part bake otherwise forever in fryer. Stuffed with sausage ricotta spinach garlic

Here’s a picture I think20160114_115240.jpg

after 72 hours, my lower hydration APF dough performed splendidly, It is so good fried that I made some doughnuts with it for the crew, then I drizzled locally produced wildflower honey on them. I over indulged!

So, I got what I wanted with it, they are staying together, cooking all the way through, and the texture is spectacular.
Now I may need to add a few deep-fryers and devise a system to track what is in which fryer, and what position it is in in each fryer.
I’ve been wanting to open a seasonal 'Express location" that only serves a single unique product, and I think this may be it.

We used to make them back in the late 60’s (when people used to think nothing of eating fried food). The trick to making them is to have an extensible dough that has good gluten development through fermentation. If you try to get the gluten development mechanically the dough will be too tight and either be poorly shaped or blow-out during frying. You’re correct in using 24-hour fermented dough, that’s what we used. The only real difference is that we used a strong bread type flour (Pillsbury, Seal of Minnesota) with about 12.6% protein content if I remember correctly. We also submerged them for frying as it worked so much better than surface frying. If you can find a used donut fryer with screens you can make all you want in a snap. As you fill and crimp the dough place it on a screen when the screen if full allow it to rest for an additional 10-minutes for the dough to relax a little, then transfer screen and all to the fryer, as the screen is lowered the calzones will float to the surface, immediately push them under the surface of the fat using a submersion screen and fry until golden brown. We liked them as a breakfast fare, filling with scrambled egg, precooked breakfast sausage, diced tomato, sauteed onion, mushrooms and green peppers, and creamy Ricotta along with a little Mozzarella cheese for the filling. They hold wonderfully well under heat lamps. NOTE: Do not cut vents into the top of the calzones as you would for oven baked.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

What i’ve been doing is building them on a sheet of Deli-Wax paper, then sliding them gently into the fryer off the paper,I give it a bit to firm up on both sides in the oil, then I place a fry basket on top at a 90 degree angle to the way basket are typically used. This way I am keeping the whole thing under the surface of the shortening, but not pressing it down on the bottom grid of the fryer.
I still need to work on my sealing technique a bit, a fold and press has a tendency to blow out during frying, but not leaking. I think I’m going to use a crimping wheel on moistened edges, then trim it.

This is the original from the grotto, rotti-img.png