Sfincione de San Giovanni - Featured Recipe - CookingDistrict.com
Featured Recipes

Sfincione de San Giovanni

Casual and quick, pizza isn't exactly something that you think of having a place on the Christmas dinner table. But the Sfincione de San Giovanni, also known as a Sicilian Christmas Pizza, is only served on special occasions including Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, Good Friday and on the feast of San Giovanni. Light and topped with bread crumbs, the Sfincione di San Giovanni is a Sicilian-style pizza. Aptly described by its name – Sfincione translates to "thick sponge" – the dish features a soft, tender dough and a flavorful sauce. This unusual twist on a common dish is ideal for holiday indulgences and impressing guests. This version is the creation of Bruno DiFabio, a World Champion Pizza Chef born to Italian immigrants and owner of 10 widely-lauded pizzerias.
Categories: Italian, Pizza
Step 1
1 lb • High Gluten flour
1 1/2 cups • Water
2 tsp • salt
2 tbsp • Condensed milk
2 1/4 tsp • dry active yeast • (1 packet)
2 tbsp • Extra-virgin olive oil
For The Dough: Method:

Combine tap water and yeast giving a little stir, then setting aside for five minutes.

Stir once again to make sure the mixture is not clumpy.

Add flour and mix for five minutes on speed one. (kitchen aid mixer or the like of)

Create a well in the dough and add the salt. Mix for two minutes on speed one.

Create a well in the dough and add the condensed milk. Mix for two minutes on speed one.

Create a well in the dough and add the extra virgin olive oil. Mix for two minutes on speed one or until it resembles a complete dough ball.

Set the dough in a lightly oiled plastic container with a top. Refrigerate this dough ball for 48 hours.

After this "cold rise fermentation period" allow dough ball to come to room temperature before slacking out the dough.
Step 2
3 • Yellow onions • coarsely chopped
1 tsp • Capers
3 tbsp • Tomato paste
2 tbsp • Olive oil
1 cup • Red table wine
3 cups • Water
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Sfincione Sauce: Heat a large sauce pan on stove top.

Add two tablespoons olive oil. Allow to shimmer.

Add onions, and capers. Sautee on high heat for ten minutes.

Add red wine and cook on medium high heat until almost all liquid is gone.

Add tomato paste. Continually stirring on medium high heat for additional two to three minutes.

Add 3 cups of water and reduce down until mixture is very thick.

Transfer to food processor and pulse until it is sauce like.
Step 3
2 cups • Coarse plain bread crumbs
1/2 tsp • Salt
1/2 tsp • Paprika
1 tbsp • Chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 tsp • Cracked pepper
1 tsp • Minced fresh garlic
2 tbsp • Grated parmigiano reggiano
1 tbsp • Fresh oregano
4 tbsp • Extra-virgin olive oil
Bread Crumb Topping: In a 350 degree oven, toast bread crumbs for eight to ten minutes.

In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients and mix well.
Step 4
20 • Oil cured sicilian olives • pitted
10 • anchovy fillets (canned in oil or freshly gutted and marinated for 24 hours in salt and extra virgin olive oil)
1/2 cup • Extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 lb • Caccio Cavallo cheese
• Sfincione Sauce
• Bread Crumb Topping
Note: you will need a "teglia" pan (usually 12 by 18 inches) or two 10" rounds


Take dough out of the fridge and let stand at room temperature for two hours or until it has reached ambient temperature.

Generously grease the "teglia" pan with the extra virgin olive oil.

Work the dough on the counter surface using only extra virgin olive oil. Do NOT use flour. Slack out the dough until it is a little bit bigger then the pan you are using. Then place inside the pan, gently pulling the dough into the corners.

Add a little bit more extra virgin olive oil to the top and gently coat the entire top of the dough using your fingers.

Cover "teglia" pan with plastic wrap, and let sit in the room temp oven for 2 hours.

Take off the plastic wrap

Break the anchovies in half or thirds and gently press them into the dough. Dispersing all of them evenly.

In a 450 degree oven, cook the Sfincione until it has just started to turn color and take out.

Distribute the Cacio Cavallo cheese evenly.

Using a spoon, evenly disperse the desired amount of Sfincione Sauce.

Break the oil cured sicilian olives in half and evenly distribute them on top of the Sfincione Sauce.

Evenly distribute the Bread Crumb Topping on top of the Sfincione Sauce.

Return to the oven and allow to cook until the crust is a deep golden brown.


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