25 In Bread/ Italian Inspired

A Hearty Rustic Sicilian Bread: Sfinciuni

A Hearty Rustic Sicilian Bread: Sfinciuni 1

A Hearty Rustic Sicilian Bread: Sfinciuni

A Hearty Rustic Sicilian Bread: Sfinciuni 2

This Sfinciuni recipe 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.

Many of you have reached out to me trying to see if Sfinciuni is a recipe that your family used to make and are unsure of the spelling but remember how it sounded. Here is how you pronounce Sfinciuni. I hope this helps!

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.

Sfinciuni: Sicilian Pizza

Servings: 10

  • Author: Carrie Pacini
  • Category: Bread


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


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!

Keywords: Bread, Italian Bread, Italian Dishes, Rustic Sicilian Bread


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  • Reply
    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

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

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

  • Reply
    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.

    • Reply
      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!

  • Reply
    Cindy Todeschini
    February 13, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    My Italian Grandmother made a similar version of this recipe however she made single servings and it was called Imegnalati (sp?) They were about the size of a large hamburger roll and she made a bunch of them. On Sunday afternoons when all the aunts, uncles and cousins would visit her she would send us home with a bag of them. Great memories of a time when Sundays were spent with family. I’m going to try using your recipe but make individual servings and see if it tastes like hers.
    Thank you,

    • Reply
      Carrie Pacini
      February 14, 2015 at 10:11 am

      It’s amazing how everyone has their own version of this recipe. I love the variety of shapes it takes and the different names it has. Let me know how it goes!

  • Reply
    Angelo sena
    March 21, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    I made one loaf it was soo good angelo

    • Reply
      Carrie Pacini
      March 23, 2015 at 1:29 pm

      It’s one of my favorites :)

  • Reply
    Dawn Freeland
    October 18, 2015 at 11:24 am

    I’m excited to try this recipe. Question: how much salt? I don’t see it in the ingredient list but the instructions indicate adding the salt with egg and flour.

    Thank you very much!

    • Reply
      Carrie Pacini
      October 27, 2015 at 12:18 pm

      Hi Dawn, just a pinch!

  • Reply
    l. bonura
    November 10, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    My grandmother made Sfinciuni with Romano cheese cut into chunks and stuffed into dough with anchovies. She also made some with Italian sausage for the kids. She baked for days making many pans for family and everyone went to her house Christmas eve and New Years eve and ate Italian Sausage and sfinciuni and talked loudly.

    • Reply
      Carrie Pacini
      November 15, 2015 at 9:26 am

      What a great memory of your grandmother. It sounds like a festive and wonderful time, I bet her Sfinciuni was incredible with chunks of Romano cheese :)

  • Reply
    January 27, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Do you take the casings off the sausage and crumble it ?

    • Reply
      Carrie Pacini
      January 30, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      Yes! When I can’t find it without casings that is what I do.

  • Reply
    January 27, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Love your recipes

    • Reply
      January 27, 2017 at 6:15 pm

      I also put black olives(without pits) in mine

    • Reply
      Carrie Pacini
      January 30, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    June 2, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    How do you phonetically pronounced that ?

  • Reply
    December 7, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Have you published a cookbook? We would love to purchase it if so.

    • Reply
      Carrie Pacini
      December 7, 2017 at 5:45 pm

      Hi Ann, I am in the middle of a bread book that I am hoping to have by Spring – Fingers Crossed :)

  • Reply
    January 21, 2018 at 11:45 am

    Hi Carrie, my mom & aunts made something like this. Phonetically the name sounded like “fin-juni”. How would “sfinciuni” sound? Wondering if it might be the same bread.

  • Reply
    Maria Giordano
    December 12, 2019 at 11:37 am

    do you know how many anchovies, and in oil or not

    • Reply
      Carrie Pacini
      December 17, 2019 at 12:47 pm

      Hi Maria, I don’t know since I use Italian Sausage for my recipe but I would try maybe 5 to 6 cut up very small not in oil.

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