Sfinciuni

Sfinciuni, cudduruni, scacciate, ‘nfriulati, imbriulati, pitoni.

There are many types of rustic pizzas made from bread dough, onions, tomatoes and anchovies. Although the ingredients and shape of each pizza may vary from one area to another, they all share one thing: they are delicious.

The peasant food was likely born out of the need to make long-lasting, dry products that would nourish workers who worked long hours in faraway fields. Breads that protect and encase nutritious animal and plant protein, which provide energy for hard labor.

U Finciuni– Palermitan, Bagherese

Sfinciuni is the Italian name for Sfincione. It derives its name from Latin spongia, i.e. Because of the dough’s slightly spongy texture, it is called “sponge”. However, it is believed that the Arabic term “sfang” refers to a pancake sweetened with honey.

Sfincione refers to a soft and leavened pizza dough that resembles a sponge. It is served with tomato sauce, onions, and chunks caciocavallo.


Ingredients for the dough:

  • 400g of remilled bread
  • 100g of 00 flour
  • 1 sachet dried brewer’s yeast
  • approx. 300 ml lukewarm
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • approx. 10 g salt

Topping:

For the Sfincione di Bagheria:

  • 200g primosale cheese (only available for Bagherese versions)
  • 200g of ricotta (only available for the Bagherese variety)
  • Tomato sauce (or tomato pulp) (Palermitan variation).
  • 4 large onions
  • Salted Sardinines
  • Day-old bread, crust removed. Crumbled
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to your liking
  • Oregano
  • Diced caciocavallo Cheese (Grated for Bagherese Version)


Method

Mix the flour, sugar, and yeast together in a terrine. Once the dough is formed, add the water slowly. The 300 ml water amounts are only indicative. The flour’s moisture content will determine the amount of water required. Sometimes more may be necessary. The dough should be soft enough to require hand beating rather than kneading like bread. Salt should be added only at the end, as it must not come in direct contact with yeast. Wrap the terrine in a dishcloth, cover it with a blanket, and let the dough rise. The dough should double in volume. While the dough is rising, cut the onions into small pieces and add a bit of water to the pan. Once the water has reduced completely, add some oil and a few sardines to make a dry sauce.


sfincione di Bagheria – ph. Fabio Cavasenna

Season the Baghereseversion with salt and pepper. Once the sauce has cooled, add a few pieces of grated caciocavallo cheese. Toast the crumbed bread in the remaining olive oil. Then cover the dough with slices primosale cheese and ricotta. Finally, cover the mixture with the onions that have cooled to room temperature. Let the dough rest until it reaches the edges of the tray. Bake at 200°C for approximately 30 minutes. 30′-40′.

To make the Palermitan version, you will need to add the tomato pulp or puree, season it with salt, and then cook. Once the dough has doubled in size, grease your hands and place it on a parchment-covered tray. 1.5 cm thick. Sprinkle the chopped sardines over the top. Make sure they reach the dough for a while. Sprinkle the cheese cubes over the top of the dough. After the mixture has cooled to room temperature, cover the dough with the tomato sauce. Then leave to rise. Bake the dough at 200°C for 30-40 minutes, or until it reaches the edges of the tray. Halfway through the cooking process, dust the Sfincione lightly with breadcrumbs and drizzle some oil.


Cudduruni

This bread dough is similar to sfinciuni and contains onions, tomatoes, caciocavallo, cheese, vegetables, and other ingredients, depending on the customs in the different provinces. You can make it open like a pizza or close like a calzone. It can also be rolled like strudel or chiffon cakes.

For 4/6 People:

The dough:

  • 1.5kg of durum wheat flour
  • 30g yeast
  • Water and salt

Filling:

  • 2 kg onions
  • 150g caciocavallo cheese
  • Pitted black olives
  • Anchovy fillets
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • tomato puree
  • salt.


Method

Mix the yeast with a little bit of lukewarm warm water. Place the flour on a flat surface. Add the dissolved yeast. Mix in a little water. Knead the dough until it is like a loaf of bread. Cover the dough with a towel and let it rise for approximately an hour. After the dough has been leavened for about an hour, you can begin to roll it out.

Slice the onion in thin slices. Place them in a saucepan with some oil and water. Cook for approximately one hour while stirring. Allow them to cool once they are dry. If you are making the closed version, add only half the condiment to the dough.

Spread the dough onto a baking sheet. Add the tomato puree, onion, pitted black olives and the anchovies. Drizzle some oil. Cover the dough with another sheet of dough or fold it over and seal the edges. After brushing the dough with oil, use a fork to poke holes in it. Bake at 250°C for 20 minutes. Slice and serve.

‘Mbriulata di Caltanissetta, or ‘mmiscata dell’agrigentino

You will find slight variations in the name as well as in some of these delicious and easy-to-make stuffed pastries.

Ingredients:

The dough will need 200g flour, 150g of ’00” flour, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 50g of lard, 20g yeast, and one egg white.

Filling: 3 small potatoes, 300g minced pork, minced “frittuli”, (greaves pork), 1 small onions, 6 pitted olives, 4 tablespoons grated pecorino cheese and olive oil.

Method:

Mix the flours, olive oil, yeast, and some milk to form a stiff dough. If necessary, add a little more lukewarm liquid. Let the dough rise for about half an hour. While the dough is resting, cut the potatoes into small pieces and fry them in a pan with some oil and salt. The meat and mix should be season with salt and pepper. Make a thin layer of dough about 3 millimeters thick. Cover it with some lard. Top with meat, potatoes, and finely chopped onions. Sprinkle with pecorino cheese and drizzle olive oil. Roll the dough around the filling, making a spiral shape. Finally, brush the surface with the beaten eggs white. Bake the “mbriulata”, in a warm oven, for approximately. 40 minutes. Allow to rest for ten seconds before serving.

This recipe was submitted to Proloco Milena

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