Growing up on a working Farmhouse Bed & Breakfast while holding on to the apron strings of her mother, Catherine Fulvio (nee Byrne) was destined ...
for the base:
250 g “00” or bread flour
100 g semolina flour (grano duro)
270 ml warm water
1 tsp dried yeast
50 ml olive oil, extra virgin
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
for the topping:
1 large onion (diced)
4 anchovies (minced)
450 ml passata or homemade tomato sauce
75 g breadcrumbs (toasted)
175 g slices of fresh mozzarella (or caciocavallo or provolone cheese)
75 g grated pecorino (or parmesan)
1 tblsp oregano
olive oil, extra virgin, for frying
extra flour for dusting the baking tray
Pour the water into a large mixing bowl, add the sugar and stir to dissolve.
Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let sit for several minutes to dissolve. Mix the two flours and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the year mixture.
Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is elastic and satiny, about eight to ten minutes, adding the minimum amount of additional flour needed to keep the dough from sticking.
Finally, knead in the olive oil (this might be neater to do in a mixing bowl) Put the dough in a large mixing bowl, cover it with cling film or a damp tea towel and let rise in a warm room until doubled in bulk, for approximately two hours.
Meantime, sauté the diced onion in the olive oil. When the dough is ready, punch the air out and knead lightly for two minutes. Flour the baking tray and place the dough on the tray, pressing down to fill the tray completely. Arrange the onion and anchovies on top.
Then spread the sliced cheese, followed by the tomato sauce. Mix the breadcrumbs with the grated pecorino and oregano and sprinkle them in an even layer over the sauce.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Place the sfincione in the oven to bake for approximately twenty five minutes. One little tip, try cutting it with scissors, rather than a knife.