Sfincioni – Sfinciuni

Sfincione – Scott Weiner CC BY 2.0


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
  • One large onion, sliced
  • Four anchovies
  • 6 oz. Primosale cheese or fresh Pecorino cheese cut thin
  • 4 oz. breadcrumbs made by hand from the inside of day-old bread
  • 2 oz, grated pecorino cheese
  • Two scallions, chopped very fine
  • Oregano, salt, and pepper

How to make the Sfincioni – Sfinciuni:

Making of the Dough
Pour warm water into 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. The mixture should be soft and very malleable. Should it become 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 the dough is sticky, add some more flour when the dough forms a single mass set aside. Clean your hands, the working surface, and discard scraps.
Dust the working surface with flour and knead the dough by pushing it down firmly to the center instead of turning dough 90 degrees and pressing down again: keep kneading until the 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 the dough, place it in an oiled bowl and refrigerate for a few hours.

Making of the Condiment
Sauté the sliced onion in two tablespoons of olive oil until golden. Set aside.
Crush anchovies in a dish and mix with four tablespoons of olive oil. Set aside.
In a bowl, mix scallions with four 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 pressing it down.
Place dough in the oiled pan 13 X 9 X 2 inches.
Set aside, covered in a 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 the dough entirely with an oil-anchovies mixture. Cover with sliced cheese and top it with sautéed onions. Mix breadcrumbs, grated cheese, scallions, and a pinch of oregano in a large bowl, spread it over the entire surface. Drizzle sparingly with olive oil and bake at 400’ for 30 to 40 minutes or until the bottom crust is golden and crispy.

Serves 6-8

Regional recipe from Sicily

Enrico Massetti was born in Milan, Italy.
Now he lives in Washington, DC, USA.
Still, he regularly visits his hometown
and enjoys going around all the places in his home country
especially those he can reach by public transportation.

Enrico loves writing guide books on travel in Italy
to help his friends that go to Italy to visit
and enjoy his old home country.
He also publishes books on the Argentine tango dance.

You can reach Enrico at enricomassetti@msn.com.