Savory Doughnuts

This week is Chanukah and it is all about frying our food, which brings me great joy. I am constantly trying to come up with something new to add to our menu of latkes, jelly doughnuts and all the other traditional fare. These savory doughnuts were inspired by the fried pizzas I had in Naples. We ate them as snacks during the day, to tide us over to the next pizza. Most of the pizzarias sold them outside their front doors to people waiting in long lines or folks on the run. Pizza dough stuffed with ricotta and deep friend; simple, but perfect. My boys love them stuffed with a variety of fillings, so use your imagination and create your own savory doughnuts.

1 pound of dough (I used the Lighter Whole Wheat Dough on page 83 of Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day)

2 cups ricotta

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

Oil for frying

Tomato sauce for serving

To make the savory doughnuts:

Bring a pot of oil to 370°F on a Candy Thermometer. The oil should be about 3 inches deep and not come up more than halfway up the side of the pot.

Roll out the dough to about 1/4-inch thick rectangle. Cut the rectangle into 16 equal portions. (I used 1/2-pound piece for these photos, so your rectangle will be larger.)

Mix together the ricotta, nutmeg, oregano, salt and pepper. Put about a tablespoon of the filling onto the dough, placing it so that you can easily close the dough around it. Brush the edge of the dough with water.

Press the dough closed around the filling. Making sure that the dough is sealed well, so the filling won’t come out while it is frying.


Place the doughnuts in the hot oil for about 2 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Put only a few doughnuts in the oil at a time, they should not be crowded or they will not fry evenly.

Flip the doughnuts over and fry the second side for another 2 minutes. Make sure your oil is staying around 370°F.


When the doughnuts are done frying, use a basket skimmer to remove them from the oil and place them on paper towels to drain the excess oil.

savory doughnuts

Serve with the tomato sauce or pesto.

38 thoughts to “Savory Doughnuts”

  1. Certainly great, though I can’t test/taste because of the wheat and dairy 🙁
    I wish both of you and your families the most wonderful end of year celebration times!
    (and what about a ArtisanGlutenDairyFreeBreadin5 in a near future… 🙂 )

    1. Flo: Glad you like the new design! Our new pizza and flatbread book has 3 gluten and dairy-free doughs:

      1. Gluten-free Pizza and Flatbread Dough
      2. Corn tortilla
      3. Injera– based on teff flour

      We found that the flatbreads are easier to do with GF than breads that need to develop loft. Our second book has even more of these– have you seen the web versions (there are a few here on the site). I miss France– so great to see you last summer!


  2. These look wonderful. Bet you could mix some chopped broccoli or spinach into the filling. Blessings to you and yours and Happy Chanuka.

    1. Hi Dana,

      I love the idea of adding some veggies. I served the broccoli on the side, but next time I’ll put it right inside!

      Cheers, Zoë

  3. Dear Jeff and Zoe,

    Before the year ends, I must complement you both on how you respond to questions on your website.

    I was at a different website where the person had over 800 comments on a recipe. She didn’t answer any of the questions, which was frustrating to people. I know that’s a lot of comments, but a lot of the questions were repeats that went unanswered.

    I know I feel happy using your books, feeling like I have a relationship with you guys because you have answered my (many) questions over the years. It’s helped me grow tremendously as a baker.

    “Chappy Chanukah!” 🙂

    Judy Mayer
    Johnson City, TN

    1. Thank you Judy,

      We so appreciate your note! So happy to see how you have taken your baking to a whole new professional level! 🙂

      Happy Holidays, Zoë

      1. Thank you so much, Zoe! Coming from you, the complement means even more. Thanks for being such a great teacher!

        The best to you and Jeff in 2012!

  4. I was so inspired by your stuffed naan recipe that I had to try it. Unfortunately, the refrigerated dough had a lot of resistance so I was not able to roll it out properly. I have to admit that I am more a cook than a baker and haven’t figured out a way to deal with the resistance in dough. Please advise. Thanks.

    1. Shirley: Let the dough rest between multiple attempts to stretch it. Which book are you working from (which recipe/page number)?

      1. I have all three of your books – I even pre-ordered your pizza/flatbread book. Right now I am trying to focus on flatbread. For this stuffed naan (p.224)I used American-style pizza dough (P.78). I think I made a mistake by grating the onion instead of chopping finely. That probably made the stuffing too wet and, therefore, even more difficult to roll out the dough. Well, it ended up being a rather buffy stuffed bread, so I was quite disappointed. I wonder if there is a fool-proof way to roll out flatbread properly because I do plan to try every flatbread receipt in the book. 🙂

  5. Ack! Of course the first recipe I tried from your new book was the Neopolitan style pizza on pg. 72 because I only had bleached flour. I halved the recipe and the dough was soup! I realized right away that there was some mistake. I should have checked the error page first! Anyways, I don’t have enough flour to start over so I added flour until it resembled the other doughs I’ve made from your book. Can this pizza be saved? Do I need to do anything else?

    1. Hi Rachel,

      Yes, the dough can be salvaged. You did exactly what we would have recommended. Now you need to let the dough sit so the flour can absorb the excess water.

      Thanks! Zoë

  6. I’m inspired! Having no experience frying, is this as easy as it appears? What’s the #1 beginners error I should watch out for?

    1. Jacki: most important thing is to use the thermometer and get the temp steady, too hot and they over-brown while center’s doughy. Too cool and they absorb tons of oil. Other tips in the books…

  7. Devouring, so to speak, Artisian Bread in 5 on Kindle. Just came to the Oatmeal Bread recipe and see that it has milk as an ingredient. I use raw milk and wonder if the milk should be scalded first.

    Thanks for your reply.

    1. Hi Sharon,

      We didn’t test any of the recipes with raw milk, so I am not sure how it will effect the results. If you try it please let us know so we can others.

      Thanks, Zoë

  8. Loving your Healthy Bread book. My husband is in love with the Msemmen. I would like to make it again…but some questions first. There is a plethora of filling and about half of it squished out in rolling it up. Any hints/tip/tricks? I think I am going to try the same method for a cinnamon roll flatbread. 🙂

    1. One other question, I made the garlic studded baguette from the same book (p. 155) and the garlic got really dark brown and didn’t really spread like I imagined. Any ideas? (Oh, the msemmen was page 228)

    2. Hi Karen,

      The garlic won’t spread on the loaf, it just roasts and then you can spread it on the bread when it is baked.

      If the oil/ spice mixture seems like it is rolling off the dough, then don’t put it all on, you can save it for another loaf.

      Thanks, Zoë

  9. To Sharon Zee’s question on scalding raw milk: I would think that for safety it SHOULD be scalded. Raw milk is not pasteurized, so it can have bacteria in it (such as tuberculosis – unfortunately I know that one from personal experience). If you put it in with warm water and leave it out for two hours to rise, the bacteria has time and perfect conditions to grow. Of course, in a perfect world, baking the bread should kill anything that grew, but to be doubly safe (in case something ends up undercooked sometime) I think scalding would be the wisest/safest course – especially if you cook for the very young, elderly, or those with immunity problems. Culinarily, raw milk should act like store milk, except that the cream tends to separate out, and the fat levels per glass can vary greatly, which could affect texture – but in most recipes it should work pretty much the same. Hope that helps.

    1. As far as I can tell from my research since I asked the question, raw milk (healthy and wholesome), needs to be scalded to inactivate an enzyme in milk that otherwise causes problems for the yeast. Milk from the store does not need to be scalded though bread recipes, though not the one I asked about, persist in saying scald the milk first. Old habits die hard!

      Made my first loaves with your master recipe yesterday. They were fabulous.

  10. Hi Zoe and Jeff,

    I searched your posts to try to find mini hot dogs in blankets, but couldn’t find anything. Have you done that?

    We bought some on our travels long ago, and took them out of the freezer last night. They were mini cocktail hot dogs in puff pastry. I remember thinking “I can do better.” A friend of mine also would love to have Hebrew National mini hot dogs in blankets, but they aren’t sold in this part of the country.

    Have you done a post like this? If not, this is a good time to try it before Super Bowl Sunday. I’m thinking maybe cutting hot dogs in thirds and somehow using AB5 Master dough in a crescent shape. What do you think?

    Thanks so much
    Northeast TN

  11. I love your books and recipes and have given many of your books as gifts. I am a displaced New Orleanian and really miss traditional New Orleans style french bread (Po Boy bread) Do you have a recipe for it? Or a suggestion as to how I could modify one of your other recipes to achieve that unique loaf? Thank you. And thanks for making a baker out of me.

    1. Hi Becky,

      I think the texture of the crumb is much lighter than our breads, but I will have to do some research.

      Thanks, Zoë

  12. Hi,
    I have a general question not related to this post. I am using the Artisan Bread in 5 book. I want to know what temperature the oven should be at when I put the dough inside to bake. You mention that the dough goes in before the 450F is reached but I think my oven is to cool after the 20 minute preheat. What temp should I have at 20 minutes? My bread is taking much longer than the suggested 30 minutes. More like 50. It may be my oven. But before I call a repair guy I thought I would get an oven thermometer and check it myself. Thanks, R

    1. Rosemary: We haven’t specifically tested that– but, we have found that if your result isn’t great with a 20-min preheat, experiment with 30, 45, and 60-minute preheats and see if you get a faster result.

      But you are right– need an oven thermometer, before you do anything else, check out the one in our Amazon store on the left side of our website. Jeff

  13. These look amazing! Do you know if they can baked instead of fried? I was thinking of brushing olive oil around the outside and baking but I didn’t want to waste all the ingredients if it’s already been tried and didn’t work.


    1. Cissy: Haven’t tested, but should work? My best guess, anyway. Shape may be the issue (will not hold shape as well).

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