Sfincioni Sfinciuni


For the Dough

  • 1 ½ lb. flour (All purpose, or mix ½ semolina and ½ all purpose)
  • 1 cup flour for dusting
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 envelopes active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Baking pan 13 X 8

For the Condiment

  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4 anchovies
  • 6 oz. Primosale cheese or fresh Pecorino cheese sliced thin
  • 4 oz. breadcrumbs made by hand from the inside of day old bread
  • 2 oz, grated pecorino cheese
  • 2 scallions, chopped very fine
  • Oregano, salt and pepper
How to make the Sfincioni – Sfinciuni:

Making of the Dough
Pour warm water in a bowl, stir in yeast, oil, sugar and salt. Add half of the flour and blend it in. Set the mixture aside in a warm place for 10 minutes.
Put remaining flour on a flat surface and form a well and place the mixture in it. Start to blend the flour from the inside of the well, and keep incorporating the flour. Add a little more water, if it becomes too dry. Mixture should be soft and very malleable. Should it became too watery add more flour.
Using your hands, bring all the flour together to form a ball. Fold and press with the palm of your hands; if dough is sticky, add some more flour. When dough forms a single mass set aside. Clean your hands, the working surface and discard scrapes.
Dust the working surface with flour and knead dough by pushing it down firmly to the center, than turn dough 90 degrees and press down again: keep kneading until dough is elastic and has a silky consistency. Knead for 10 minutes, or until gluten develops.
Form a ball, and cut across the top to facilitate the leavening process. Cover and let rest for 25 minutes, in a warm place.
Press and fold dough, place it in an oiled bowl and refrigerate for a few hours.

Making of the Condiment
Sauté sliced onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until golden. Set aside.
Crush anchovies in a dish and mix with 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Set aside.
In a bowl, mix scallions with 4 tablespoons of oil and add salt and pepper to taste.

Making of the Sfincione
When ready to make sfincione, dust the working surface with flour, place dough in the center and flatten it to about ½ inch thick using a rolling pin or by pressing it down.
Place dough in the oiled pan 13 X 9 X 2 inches.
Set aside, covered in warm place, until dough rises. About 20 minutes.
Punch dough and stretch it if necessary.
Sprinkle or use a brush to coat the surface of dough completely with oil-anchovies mixture. Cover with sliced cheese and top it with sautéed onions. In a large bowl, mix breadcrumbs, grated cheese, scallions and a pinch of oregano, spread it over the entire surface. Drizzle sparingly with olive oil and bake at 400’ for 30 to 40 minutes or until bottom crust is golden and crispy.

Serves 6-8

Regional recipe from Sicily