Friday, March 15, 2013

Sfincione Siciliano recipe and ingredients

The sfincione is a traditional focaccia from Palermo in Sicily. It was originally baked by the nuns at the San vito monastery and served at Christmas as a richer bread. In modern Palermo it is found in rosticcerie (rotisserie shops), and sold by street vendors from their three-wheeler vehicles. The word sfincione derives from sfincia, meaning 'something very soft', which indeed the dough is. Normally, sardines are added to the tomato topping, but I’ve substituted anchovies. Caciocavallo cheese is a typical southern Italian cheese that can be found in good delis; however, you can use provolone pr parmesan. This is a delicious snack, prefect for the whole family to share
Sfincione Siciliano
Sfincione Siciliano

Makes a 28cm round

Sfincione Siciliano ingredients: 1/2 cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to grease. 1 large red onion thinly sliced. 500g cherry tomatoes, halved. 25g anchovies in oil, drained. 60g caciocavallo cheese, roughly chopped

Bread dough ingredients: 12g fresh yeast. 500g 00 or strong (baker's) flour, plus extra to dust

Sfincione Siciliano recipe: 1- For the bread dough, dissolve the yeast in 325ml lukewarm water. Combine the flour and 2 tsp salt on a clean work surface or in a large bowl and make a well in the centre, then gradually pour in the yet mixture and mix to form a soft but not sticky dough-add a little more lukewarm water, if necessary. 2- Lightly flour a clean work surface and knead dough for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place on a clean tea towel, brush with water to prevent it from drying out, then cover with another clean, slightly damp tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size. 3- While the bread is rising, make the sauce. Heat 2 tbs olive oil in a saucepan, add the onion and sweat over medium heat until softened. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper, then cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes. Add the anchovies for the final 5 minutes. 4- Preheat the oven to 220C when the bread dough has risen, add the remaining 1/3 cup (80ml) oil to it and, using your hands, knead it in. You may feel that the oil is not being absorbed; continue to knead for about 10 minutes and it will be evenly distributed. 5- Gently grease a 28cm round baking tray with olive oil and place the dough on it. Using your fingers, spread it around to the edges. Scatter the cheese all over the dough and top with the tomato and anchovy sauce. Reduce the oven temperature to 200C and bake the sfincione for 35 minutes or until puffed and golden. Transfer to a wire rack and leaves to cool