Palermo sfincione – the recipe from Cuoche ma buon

Anyone who has had the opportunity to visit Palermo cannot help but remember the sfincione street vendor, “U'sfinciunaru”, who, with his Lambretta or hand-drawn cart, shouts with a megaphone and sells sfincione. A special high and soft focaccia, stuffed with simple ingredients but very rich in flavour: tomato sauce, plenty of onion, anchovy, caciocavallo cheese and breadcrumbs. It is certainly one of the best-known street foods in Palermo. It is prepared all year round but, in particular, enjoyed during the Immaculate Conception. One of the little secrets for a good sfincione lies in the double leavening: the first when you have finished kneading, obtaining a soft, elastic and light mass; the second leavening takes place in the pan together with its ingredients. If you have never eaten it, now is the time to try it!

Chi beddu ciavuru! Now u sfurnavu, uora! (Smells so good! Now I've got it out of the oven, now!)
I'm kidding us! (I whet your appetite!)
This is true, what a shame! (This is a really great sfincione, what a scent!)
Scarsu r'oghhiu and chinu ri privulazzo! (Low oil and full of dust! Refers to the fact that it is sold on the street and the street vendor will put little oil to save money).


Scope appetizer, leavened

For the dough

  • 500 g farina 0 or half 00 and half Rimacino semolina
  • 100 g sourdough starter or 12 g fresh yeast
  • 300 ml water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
  • 2 teaspoons sale

For the seasoning

  • 500 g golden onions
  • 50 g Semi-mature diced caciocavallo
  • 50 g boned salted sardines or anchovies in oil
  • 500 ml tomato puree
  • 50 g bread crumbs
  • sugar to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • origano q.b.
  • sale q.b.
  • pepe q.b.

It will also serve you

  • 1 handful of breadcrumbs not toasted
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • origano q.b.
  • Flaked semi-mature caciocavallo cheese
  • On a work surface (or in a planetary mixer), mix the sifted flour with the yeast dissolved in a little warm water and a teaspoon of sugar.

  • Work vigorously, incorporating more water. Halfway through the dough, add the salt. The dough should be very soft.

  • Transfer the mixture into a floured bowl and let it rise covered with a cloth until doubled. It will take approximately 6-8 hours (4-6 hours in the summer period).

  • In the meantime, finely chop the onions and sauté them in a pan with a drizzle of oil and a few tablespoons of water.

  • Add the boned sardines, let them melt and immediately add the tomato puree and a little water. Salt to taste, pepper and add a pinch of sugar.

  • Cook over a moderate heat for about 30 minutes. At the end of cooking, add the oregano.

  • Meanwhile, toast the breadcrumbs in a pan until golden. Also insert the latter into the tomato sauce with the onions.

  • As soon as the dough has risen, with your hands greased with oil, transfer it to a baking tray also greased with oil.

  • Roll it out with your hands, then sprinkle the surface with caciocavallo, push the cheese cubes into the dough. Immediately afterwards sprinkle the onion sauce, covering the edges well. Before baking, let it rest for another 1-2 hours.

  • Before baking, sprinkle the entire surface with a little breadcrumbs and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

  • Cook in “pizza” mode for 20-30 minutes, or at 250°C in static mode under the intermediate level of the oven for 15 minutes. Then continue for another 15 minutes at 220°C, moving the pan to the higher level than the intermediate one.Remove from the oven, add a little more oregano and if you like a little grated Caciocavallo flakes.
If you have little time available, you can prepare the dough the night before with the “no-knead pizza” method.
If you prefer to use granular yeast, remember to halve the doses. In this case you will only need 6 g.


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