I love Italian food, but I am not a pizza lover, well I wasn’t until I found the recipe for this gorgeous Sicilian Pizza, unlike the thin based, tasteless topped pizza you normally get, this one is on a beautiful thick bread base and the toppings are full of flavour and to die for.
Deep pan pizza’s are usually thought of as American, but they originally came to New York from Sicily. Sfincione is more a thick, flavoured bread that is topped with breadcrumbs to give it a lovely crunch when baked.
Very simple to make and you could vary the toppings to suit your own individual tastes, but I do advise trying it this way first as it really is lovely.
For the dough
2 x 7g sachets of fast-action yeast
2 teaspoons caster sugar
200ml warm water
375g strong white bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon of olive oil
For the topping
2 pork sausages, preferably fennel-flavoured, skins removed and crumbled
4 tablespoons good-quality tomato sauce
4 tablespoons ricotta
6 slices provolone cheese, cubed (use mozzarella if you can’t get provolone)
2 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
drizzle of olive oil
First, make the dough. Mix the yeast and sugar with the warm water. Place the flour and salt in a mixer with a dough hook, or in a bowl, make a well in the middle and pour in the liquid and oil. Mix by hand for 10 minutes or 5 minutes in the mixer, until the dough is silky. Tip into a well-oiled bowl, cover with a cloth (I use plastic showers caps for this, works a treat) and place somewhere warm for about 40 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
Tip the dough onto a work surface and knead for 2 minutes, knocking out any air pockets. The dough should be soft not not to elastic.
Dust a 25 x 16cm baking tray with a little flour and place the dough in the centre. Using your palms of your hands and tips of your fingers, push the dough to the edges of the tray. Leave it for 30 minutes to rise.
While the dough is rising, fry the sausage in a dry pan until crumbly.
Heat the oven to 230c/ 210c fan/ gas 8.
Spread the tomato sauce over the base, followed by the sausage, ricotta, provolone and dried breadcrumbs.
Finally, drizzle with olive oil.
Put into the oven for 5 minutes, then turn down the heat and cook at 200c/ 180c fan/ gas 6 for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.
Leave to cool slightly, then cut into 6 chunks and serve.