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Polenta Fritters

How To Cook A Wolf, Seattle

Chef Michael Gifford

makes 50 to 60 fritters

  • 26 ounces water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 13 ounces polenta
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 15 ounces flour
  •  canola oil

Bring the water to a boil and slowly pour in the polenta while stirring. Lower the heat and cook the polenta for about 10 minutes, being sure to not scorch the bottom. All the water should be absorbed, but the polenta should not be too dry. Meanwhile, warm the milk and dissolve the yeast in it, then set the mixture aside.

When the polenta is done, scoop into a standup mixer with the paddle attachment. Let cool until 110 degrees, about 20 minutes, aerating it occasionally. When the polenta has cooled, begin to mix in the flour in stages. When all the flour is incorporated, add the dissolved yeast and milk. Place in a container at least double the size of the dough, cover it tightly, and let it rise for about 30 minutes in the fridge.

To cook the fritters, fill a tall pot, Dutch oven or fryer with canola oil and heat it to 360 degrees. (If you are working without a thermometer, you can drop a piece of bread crust into the oil as a test—if it crisps up quickly, the oil is ready. A thermometer will be more accurate and safe, though.) With a small scoop (approximately 1 ounce), carefully place the dough in the hot oil. Be sure not to overcrowd the fritters in the oil. Cook till golden and remove with a slotted spoon, then place on towels to absorb excess oil.

These fritters are a great vehicle for a variety of sauces. Currently we’re serving them with a tomato sauce. Serve on plates with your favorite condiment and, of course, some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Photo Credit: Dorothy61n1, Creative Commons Attribution