Sicilian mafalde – the recipe from Cuoche ma buon

Sicilian mafalde, among the most typical sandwiches due to the very peculiar snake shape, soft inside and crunchy outside. Often stuffed with Sicilian panelle and croquettes, omelettes, fried aubergines or with fragrant slices of mortadella.
Traditionally they are prepared with durum wheat flour and to make them even softer and more fragrant, they require the addition of biga (a pre-dough which serves to reinforce leavening) which must rise for 16-20 hours. Our recipe is a simplified version within everyone's reach that uses sourdough or alternatively brewer's yeast. This time no holes or exaggerated cavities, just fragrant rolls covered in sesame seeds, with a thick and crunchy crust with a soft crumb inside.
Today mafalde are among the most popular forms of bread in Sicilian bakeries, to be loved at the first bite and perfect to be enjoyed hot.
Preparing them at home is not difficult but the shaping of the bread is essential to give the right shape to the mafalde: long cylinders, which are folded into a spiral or “s” shape and then “inciminated” (sprinkled) with sesame seeds. I invite you to make our recipe for Sicilian mafalde and taste them while still warm with a few slices of mortadella. A real treat!


  • 400 g durum wheat semolina flour
  • 100 g farina 00
  • 100 g refreshed sourdough or 6 g fresh brewer's yeast
  • 350 g water at room temperature
  • 40 g olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon miele or sugar
  • 10 g sale
  • sesame seeds to taste about 50 g

It will also serve you

  • olive oil qb for the pastry board
  • durum wheat semolina flour for the pastry board
  • In a bowl, or in a planetary mixer, dissolve the yeast together with the water and honey. Let it rest for 10 minutes covered with a cloth.

  • After 10 minutes, pour in all the flour, add the oil and start kneading at medium speed for about 10 minutes. Almost at the end of processing, add the salt. You should obtain a homogeneous and very soft mixture.

  • Grease the work surface with a little oil and turn the dough over. Work it for a few minutes and roll it up to form a ball, cover with a bowl or cloth and let it rest for 10 minutes.

  • After 10 minutes, with the help of a spatula, make pieces of the same weight, approximately 150 g.

  • Press each piece with your hands and roll the dough on itself to form a cylinder. Let it rest for another 10 minutes.

  • At the end, dust the work surface with a little semolina flour, then work each cylinder until you give it the shape of a cord long enough for approximately 70 cm and 1-2 centimeters in diameter, to which you will give the classic shape of the mafalda, pulling them slightly to make them stretch.

  • Create a sort of serpentine gathered on itself, but which goes from left to right (forming “s”), trying to maintain a wider shape in the central part. However, do not fold the last part of the cord, which you will place in the center and perpendicular to the direction of the serpentine along the entire length of the mafalda.

  • As you work them, with the help of a spatula, delicately transfer them by taking them from underneath and placing them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Space them well apart.

  • Brush them with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Apply light pressure with your fingers to make them adhere.

  • Cover with a cloth and let rise for about 90 minutes at room temperature. The dough should double in volume.

  • Preheat the oven in “bread” or static mode at 200-220°C. Once you reach the right temperature, bake on the level above the middle shelf and cook for 20-30 minutes. If necessary, lower the temperature to 180°C for the last 10 minutes and finish cooking until golden brown. Once cooked, take the mafalde out of the oven and leave them to cool on a rack.

It is very important to know your oven. To help the shape of the bread develop and prevent a too hard crust from immediately forming, it may be useful to place a small saucepan with a little water on the bottom of the oven. Its function is to keep the cooking environment moist.
If you prefer to use granular yeast, remember to halve the doses. In this case you will only need 3 g.
If you prefer to use only durum wheat flour, increase the dose of olive oil: 50 g instead of 40g.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *