If you make doughboys, there is a good chance you’re of Italian-American heritage or you’re from Rhode Island. Doughboys are shaped pieces of pizza dough (the best part of the pizza) deep-fried in oil until golden brown, and sprinkled with confectioners sugar while still warm. Doughboys can be found all over Rhode Island and as fried dough at carnivals or Italian concessions in other areas of the country.
My family has made doughboys for generations. When my dad was young, my grandma sometimes made for breakfast pizza fritta, or fried pizza dough, which were rolled in sugar and then dunked in coffee. It’s difficult to eat just one doughboy; the taste of melting confectioners sugar against the warm chewy dough is addictive. I usually make doughboys as a weekend breakfast treat, when the family gets together, and everyone eats their share.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1½ cups of cold water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- confectioners sugar
- vegetable oil, as needed
- Combine flour, yeast, and salt together in a large bowl. Add water and mix until dough forms a sticky ball. If the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl, add additional flour until it pulls away from the sides and forms a smooth ball. If too much flour remains in the bowl, add cold water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough forms a smooth ball.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, adding flour as needed, until the dough is firm and no longer sticky. Shape the dough into a ball.
- Coat the sides and bottom of a large glass or ceramic bowl (not plastic). Place dough in bowl and turn to coat all sides with oil. Seal the bowl tightly with plastic wrap; cover with one or more dish towels. Place covered bowl in an area free of drafts.
- Let the dough rise for about 1½ - 2 hours. Uncover the bowl and punch the dough with your fist. Re-attach the plastic wrap and cover with dish towels. Let dough rise for about 45 minutes more.
- Uncover the dough. On a lightly floured surface, shape the dough into a log, about 2 inches in diameter.
- Slice the dough into 1-inch thick pieces. Flatten each piece with your hand into desired shape.
- Let shaped doughboys rest on lightly floured surface for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Cover the bottom of a 12-inch skillet with about 2 inches of vegetable oil. Heat over medium heat. Test oil first before dropping in doughboys. Pinch off a small piece of dough and place in skillet. Oil is hot if dough puffs and oil sizzles. Place about 3 doughboys at a time in the oil. Fry each side until golden brown.
- Remove doughboys from pan; let rest on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
- Dust the warm doughboys with confectioner's sugar.