Sfincione bagherese – The recipe for making it at home

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Leavened and fried

There was a period, many years ago, when the city of Bagheria, a large city on the outskirts of Palermo, in the period that went from December 8th to Epiphany, was a riot of aromas coming from the many ovens that churned out without stop it Bagherian sfincione. There was no family in which the housewives brought to cook their sfincione being very careful that it was not confused with that of another. This popular tradition, over the years, has been lost but, on the other hand, what was previously limited to a well-defined period is nowadays extended throughout the year. The numerous bakers who still operate in Bagheria every day do not let their customers miss the chance to taste this sublime gluttony. The same fate that touched the Termazza's Favazza when, as a child, on the night of the Immaculate Conception, the streets of my city were invaded by endless rows of pans heading towards the city ovens.

Back to the recipe we can define the Bagherese sfincione as a bread dough flan, high but very soft, which is seasoned with various layers of condiments or "conse". The characteristics that characterize the Bagherese sfincione are three: a first layer formed by an extra virgin olive oil sauce in which some salted anchovies have been dissolved (even if the recipe originally envisaged the salted sardines) which is brushed on the surface of the dough; a second layer composed of slices of fresh cheese like the tuma, about 1/2 centimeter thick and finally the last one composed of fresh crumbled bread, deprived of the rind which, after having been lightly toasted in EVO oil, is flavored with grated caciocavallo, onion, salted anchovies, salt, pepper and oregano.

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