Sfincione: Palermo Focaccia {ModBak}

Having discovered the simple and delicious Pizza and Focaccia Dough recipe in The Modern Baker, I was ready to make some focaccia.  I decided to start with the first recipe following the dough recipe in the book, Sfincione (page 115). This is a focaccia traditionally made in Palermo, Sicily, and contains ingredients often found in Sicilian cooking: tomatoes, anchovies, and bread crumbs.

While the dough was on its second rise, I made the topping. I started by sautéing onion in olive oil.

When the onion had begun to soften, I added chopped anchovies.

I stirred in tomato purée, and cooked it down for a few minutes.

I seasoned the mixture with pepper but held off on adding any salt, as the anchovies were plenty salty. I scraped the sauce mixture onto a plate and put it in the refrigerator while I gathered the remaining ingredients and prepared the crust.

I preheated the oven to 425°F. Then I dimpled the top of the dough with my fingertips. I got the sauce out of the fridge, tasted it for seasoning, and spread it evenly over the dough. I sprinkled the dough with Pecorino Romano cheese, dusted the cheese with dried oregano, and then covered the whole thing with bread crumbs. Finally, I drizzled the top of the focaccia with olive oil.

I baked the focaccia for 30 minutes, until the top was well browned.

I allowed the focaccia to cool on a pan for a few minutes, then removed it to a cutting board. I used a pizza wheel to cut the focaccia into slices.

It looked like a crumb bun, but you’d never confuse this focaccia with a sweet breakfast treat. It is savory, salty, a little fishy, and absolutely delicious. If you don’t like anchovies, this is not the dish that will make a lover out of you. But if you’re a fan of those salty little fishies, you’ll really enjoy this focaccia.

Knowing my family’s aversion to anchovies, I figured I would be eating this focaccia by myself. But that was fine with me. It just meant I didn’t have to share it with anyone.



  1. December 11, 2010 at 10:33 am

    […] enjoyed trying new focaccia and pizza recipes, like this recipe from The Modern Baker. Like the Sfincione that I made recently, the Focaccia alla Barese is part of the Yeast-Risen Specialties section of […]

  2. Renee said,

    December 10, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    I’ll definitely be giving this one a try someday but probably not before the end of the year. I liked the other pizza with anchovies. Yum!

    • gaaarp said,

      December 10, 2010 at 11:43 pm

      I liked them both, too. The only recipe from this section I still have to make it Nonna’s pizza. I’m trying to get it done soon so I can start working on putting the next section together.

  3. Cakelaw said,

    December 9, 2010 at 5:34 am

    This looks great – fabulous savoury topping.I love anchovies 🙂

  4. Kayte said,

    December 8, 2010 at 6:40 am

    Yeah, mine looks just like that (posting today at some point as I made it yesterday) but I’m sure it didn’t taste like that as I skipped the fishies.Not a fan. But, I am a fan of this without the fishies…it was so good and we loved the crunchy breadcrumbs on top. It reheated well as I fed it to the guys after the swim meet last night…those kind of fishies I love! It was gone in no time, as was the ham and cheese filled focaccia, also eaten by the fishies after the swim meet. How did he do? 4 firsts out of 4…I think it’s the bread.

    • gaaarp said,

      December 8, 2010 at 10:58 am

      Congats to your not-so-little fishy! I’m sure it’s all the power food you give him.

  5. Margaret said,

    December 7, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    This was so good. After I chose it I actually read the recipe and thought I prob would not like it, but I was wrong. wanna make it again – soon!!

    Looks like it came out well for you too.

    • gaaarp said,

      December 8, 2010 at 10:57 am

      Funny that it made an anchovy lover out of you. When I tasted it, I thought it was very fishy (good for me, not so much for non-fish people). Sounds like yours wasn’t as fishy as mine.

  6. December 7, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    […] The Pizza/Focaccia Dough on page 114 is used as the base for the next four recipes in the book:  Sfincione; Focaccia alla Barese; Nonna’s Pizza; and Filled Ham & Cheese Focaccia. For this reason, […]

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