Sfinciuni, cudduruni, scacciate, ‘nfriulati, imbriulati, pitoni.
Various type of rustic pizza made with a bread dough base, onions, tomatoes, anchovies, caciocavallo, cooked vegetables and mixed cold cuts. The shape and ingredients vary from area to area, but they all have one thing in common: they are exquisite…
This peasant food likely originated from a need to prepare dry, long-lasting products to nourish those working all day long in fields far away from home. Breads that envelop and protect nutritious animal and plant proteins that provide energy for hard work.
The name sfinciuni, Italianized in sfincione, derives from the Latin spongia, meaning “sponge”, due to the slightly spongy consistency of its dough. But there are those who argue that it derives from the Arabic term sfang, which indicates a pastry pancake sweetened with honey.
The sfincione consists of pizza bread (leavened, soft resembling a sponge) with a sauce based on tomato, onion, and pieces of caciocavallo on top.
Ingredients for the dough:
- 400 g of regrind flour
- 100 g. of 00 flour
- dehydrated brewer’s yeast 1 sachet
- 300 ml approx. of warm water
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- About 10 g of salt
For the dressing:
- 200 g. first salt (only for the Bagherese version)
- 200 g. of ricotta (only for the Bagherese version)
- Tomato sauce or pulp (Palermo version)
- 4 large onions
- salted sardines
- same day bread crumbs reduced to crumbs
- olive oil
- Salt and Pepper To Taste.
- diced caciocavallo (grated for the Bagherese version)
Put the flours, sugar and yeast in a bowl, mix by adding the water little by little. The 300 ml are purely indicative, as it depends on the degree of humidity of the flour: even more may be needed. It must be borne in mind that the dough must be soft, almost as if you have to beat it with your hand rather than knead it as you would with bread. Only at the end add the salt, as it must never come into direct contact with the yeast. Put the dough to rise by covering the bowl with a cloth and wrapping it with a blanket. While the dough is rising (it will have to double its volume), slice the onions and let them soften with a finger of water. When the water has dried completely, add a generous amount of oil and a couple of sardines and let it simmer again, it should be a dry sauce.
But the inhabitants of Bagheria, a town on the outskirts of Palermo famous for its villas, claim the primacy and the origin of this special delicacy.
In order to avoid yet another diplomatic incident (as in the case of the dispute between Eastern and Western Sicily regarding the arancin *, let’s distinguish the Bagherese version from the Palermo one.
In the case of the Palermo version it will be necessary to add the tomato sauce or pulp, season with salt and pepper and cook. When the dough has doubled, with hands greased abundantly with oil, place it in the pan already sprinkled with oil, making a layer about 1.5 cm thick. Arrange the sardines into small pieces, making them penetrate slightly into the dough. Arrange the diced caciocavallo generously on the dough, cover with the tomato sauce and onion mixture now at room temperature and leave to rise. When the dough has almost reached the edge of the pan, bake in a preheated oven at a temperature of 200 ° C for approx. 30′-40′. Halfway through cooking, sprinkle the sfincione of lightly toasted breadcrumbs with a drop of oil.
Similar to sfinciuni, u cudduruni is a bread in pasta with onions, anchovies, tomatoes, caciocavallo, vegetables and so on, depending on the customs of the different provinces. It can be opened like a pizza, closed like a calzone or rolled up like a strudel or donut. Here is the recipe!
Ingredients for 4/6 people:
- 1.5 kg of durum wheat flour
- 30 g. brewer’s yeast
- water and salt
For the stuffing:
- 2 kg of onions
- 150 g. caciocavallo
- pitted black olives
- anchovy fillets
- extra virgin olive oil
- tomato concentrate
Dissolve the yeast in a little warm water. Pour the flour into the mountains on the work table. Add the dissolved yeast. Add a little more water and start kneading until it reaches the consistency of a loaf of bread. Wrap in a cloth and leave to rise for about an hour. After rising, roll out the dough.
Cut the onion into thin slices, place them in a pan with a little oil and water and leave to cook for an hour, stirring. When they are dry, let them cool. If you have decided to prepare the closed version, only place the sauce on half of the pasta.
Spread a little tomato paste over the pasta placed in a baking dish, add the onion, the caciocavallo cut into pieces, the pitted and cut black olives, the anchovies, a little more tomato paste and a drizzle of oil. . Close the pasta on itself or cover with the other sheet of pasta and stop the broths. Brush with a little oil, prick with a fork, put in a hot oven at 250 ° for about 20 minutes. Cut into slices and serve.
‘Mbriulata from Caltanissetta or ‘mmiscata from Agrigento. These are small variations, in the name and in some ingredients, of a small and tasty stuffed dough that is easy to make and sure to be successful.
- 200 g of semolina flour
- 150 g of “00” flour
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 50 gr of lard
- 20 g of brewer’s yeast
- an albumen
For the stuffing:
- 3 small potatoes
- 300 g of minced pork or “frittuli” (pork cracklings)
- 1 small onion
- 6 pitted black olives
- 4 tablespoons of grated pecorino
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
With the two types of flour, olive oil, brewer’s yeast dissolved in a little warm milk and a pinch of salt, prepare a rather firm and well-worked dough, if necessary during processing add a little lukewarm water, leave the dough to rise for half an hour. In the meantime, peel the potatoes, cut them into logs and brown them in a pan with a little oil and salt. Mix the meat with a little salt and pepper. Make a sheet of a few millimeters thick from the dough, sprinkle a little lard on the sheet and spread the potatoes, meat, chopped olives and finely chopped onion over it. Sprinkle with pecorino cheese and sprinkle with a drizzle of olive oil, roll the dough over the filling and turn it, so as to obtain a spiral, then brush the surface with the beaten egg white. Cook the “mbriulata” in a hot oven for about forty minutes. Let it rest for ten minutes before serving.
(Recipe by Pro Loco Milena)