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A Hearty Rustic Sicilian Bread: Sfinciuni

Posted on October 6, 2010

This is a recipe that connects me to my childhood particularly around the holidays. Sfinciuni is an old Sicilian bread recipe made with anchovies and cheese. Most Sicilian families have a version of it that they make around holidays especially during Christmas.  Over the years we started using Italian sausage instead of anchovies because the children (including me) wouldn’t eat it with the anchovies. We started out with 1 tray with anchovies and 1 tray with Italian Sausage. Now it’s just the sausage. The recipe below is with the sausage.

What’s great about this bread is we have it at breakfast or as an afternoon snack. It’s also a great side for any pasta dish you want to serve and soups too.

Servings: 10

What you will need:

2 tablespoons of unsalted European butter
1 tablespoon of white sugar
1 cup of hot water
1 package of active dry yeast
1 egg beaten
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
Items that go into the bread include:
1 lb of cooked Italian Sausage
1 container of Grated Parmesan Cheese

Steps to prepare:

For the Bread Dough:
1. In a large bowl, mix the butter, sugar, and hot water. Allow to cool until lukewarm, and mix in the yeast until dissolved.
2. Mix in the egg, salt, and flour. Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size.
3. Once the dough is risen, flour a surface and begin to need the dough for 5 minutes
4. Next put the dough in a 9 x 12 buttered pan and work it to stretch to the edges of the dish in an even layer.
5. Take the sausage and the cheese and begin to tuck them into the dough by making holes with your fingers and adding the sausage and cheese until it is all gone.
6. Put the dish in the oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until the bread rises and it isn’t doughy in the center.

Once the bread is baked let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes: If you want to use anchovies go for it just replace it with the sausage!

What Others Are Saying

  1. Denay December 10, 2014 at 3:49 am

    How much is a container of parm cheese? 1 cup? 8 ounces? Are you using processed parm or real? Thanks

    • Carrie Pacini December 10, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      Hi There, I use real parm in the 8oz containers.

  2. virginia vitale December 14, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Yes, in our Sicialian family this was also a traditional bread to make around Christmas and New Years.
    The only difference is that my Mom would liberally tuck lots of cubed cheeses: mozzarella or meunster and domestic provolone – or in place of the provolone a cheese called CascoCalvaldo (sp?)(similar to provolone only imported and carried by a fine Italian grocery. She would also tuck pieces of anchovies over the dough, sprinkle with lots of oregano, little dry plain bread crumbs and liberlly drizzle with olive oil. She would then fold the dough, stretch it to conform with the pan and repeat with only the 2 cheeses, oregano, bread crumbs and oil and baked it at 425 for 15 mins and 350 for another 15 mins until lightly browned. Note: I sparingly use the anchovies for flavor only, however, I will substitute sausage next time. yummy and it looks just like your photo.

    • Carrie Pacini December 14, 2014 at 10:47 am

      Hi Virginia, Thanks for stopping by and Buon Natale! Every family has their version of this bread and yours sounds fabulous! With this dough the possibilities are endless. I’ve made it with Artichokes, Tomatoes, Olives, and even Pesto. The versions of it are really endless!

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