Sfincione Bagheria Style
there are three
popular types of sfincioni: Palermo Style, Saint Vito and Bagheria
The most traditional sfincione is the one made
It is dressed simply with olive oil, anchovies, and fresh pecorino or primosale, which is a fresh cheese in a basket. What makes it different is that
it does not have tomato and because of the special type of bread crumbs that are used.
The bread crumbs are not made from dry bread but of the inside of a particular bread called pane for sfincione. This bread has to
be purchased a few days ahead of time in order to be able to hand-break it into crumbs that, when mixed with grated
pecorino, oregano, chopped scallions and oil, give this delicious finger food an unusual look and a special
For all major holidays or family gatherings, my brother-in-law, Giovanni Zenone, being
originally from Bagheria, felt compelled to make the sfincione
Bagherese so he could brag about it and have a dissertation about the
superior qualities of his sfincione compared to the one I had
I actually liked the sfincione he made very much but
never gave him the satisfaction to state my opinion. Thinking back, I do not know why I antagonized him all the
time, because we had a tacit respect for each other and, in fact, we exchanged advice and helped each other in
In making this recipe, I am following in detail the preparation and procedures that Giovanni used in making the
1 ½ lb
flour (all-purpose, or mix ½ semolina and ½ all-purpose)
flour for dusting
envelopes active dry yeast
pan (13 x 8)
Primosale cheese or fresh Pecorino cheese, sliced thin
breadcrumbs made by hand from the inside of day old bread
grated pecorino cheese
scallions, chopped very fine
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. 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 and the working surface
and discard scrapes.
Dust the working surface with flour and knead dough by pushing it down firmly towards the
center. Then 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
Press and fold dough, place it in an oiled bowl and refrigerate for a few hours.
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.
When ready to make sfincione, dust the working
surface with flour, place dough in the center and flatten it to about ½ inch in thickness 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-anchovy 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
and spread it over the entire surface.
Drizzle sparingly with olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until bottom crust is golden and