The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Old Style Sicilian Bread Roll- Nfigghiulata Antica

  • Pin It
Franko's picture
Franko

Old Style Sicilian Bread Roll- Nfigghiulata Antica

A book I've owned for many years and still one of my all time favourites for Italian cooking is Carlo Middione's 'The Food of Southern Italy'. Middione's Sicilian Bread Roll in the Old Style or Nfigghiulata Antica he believes may predate calzone, going back to the Saracen occupation of Sicily in the ninth century. The preparation of this dish takes slightly more time than a typical calzone or pizza but it's a nice change from the norm with the variety of meats and vegetables Middione uses in his recipe, and the fact that tomatoes, so typically found in these types of dishes, is not a component. Other than the exclusion of tomatoes, there doesn't appear to be any strict guidelines to what you might use as a filling, but I stuck close to the recipe given, with a few minor additions of my own. The filling in this roll was ground pork and veal lightly sauteed, sauteed onions and fennel, blanched chard and cauliflower flowerettes, black olives, julienne strips of salami and small cubes of provolone cheese.  My own inclusions were the fennel, some ground black pepper, scant amount of salt, some oregano and grated parmagianno . The dough can be whatever your favourite pizza dough happens to be, but recommend keeping the hydration to somewhere in the low 60% area to make the dough strong enough to hold the filling without tearing when it's rolled up. Roll or stretch the dough out to a rectangular shape as for cinnamon buns and brush all but the bottom 2 inches with olive oil. Spread the filling evenly over the dough and roll towards you tightly as you would for cinnamon buns.

Once rolled, ensure that the seam and ends of the roll are tightly sealed so that the filling wont leak out during baking, transfer to a paper lined cookie sheet, seam side down, and brush with olive oil. Gently bend the roll in a wide curve or crescent, the crescent shape being an important symbol in Saracen culture. While Middione doesn't mention this in his recipe, I took some scissors and snipped small steam vents along the length of the roll to keep the roll from getting soggy during baking.

Proofing time was 30-35 minutes at 75F/23C, and best to have the roll slightly under proofed to keep it intact during baking. Bake in a pre-heated 350F/176C oven for 15 minutes, brush with any oil that may be in the pan or use fresh, and continue baking and brushing with oil periodically until it takes on an appetizing colour and there is some evidence of melted cheese. Baking times are approximate based on the size of the roll made, so your senses and individual preferences are the best guides to use for when it's time to remove the roll from the oven.

Let the roll cool for 15-20 minutes to firm up before slicing, make a salad in the meantime, pour a glass of wine and enjoy!

Ciao,

Franko  

Comments

ananda's picture
ananda

Wow Franko, there is such a lot going on inside that crescent of bread isn't there?

Love the heritage.   The pizza/calzone is evident, and so too the Arabic influence through Sicily.

Now for that glass of wine...

All good wishes

Andy

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Andy, 

You reminded me of an ingredient I forgot to mention, sliced red pepper. The appeal of this dish for me is that it's so amenable to so many ingredients, just as for pizza, you can use anything you want basically, for instance just as a vegetarian version...minus tomatoes of course to keep to the heritage of it. No tomatoes available in 9th century Sicily. Thanks for your comments Andy!

All the best,

Franko

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I enjoyed the history behind your Sicilian Roll, photos and write-up!  How nice the crumb looks with the fillings.  I imagine leaving out the tomato or tomato sauce might prevent the bread from becoming soggy.  I also imagine it taste delicious when warmed up later.  I would wrap it in foil, put it into a hot oven for a few minutes, much like heating up a pizza...a hint given to me by a pizziola guy..it works and makes for a crispy crust on pizza, just like it was fresh baked from the oven.  Very nicely done!  Thanks for sharing, Frank.

Sylvia

ps  second thought...probably none was left : ) for later.. 

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks Sylvia!

 Maybe when I was quite a bit younger I could have devoured the entire thing but no way could I eat all of that myself now and Marie being vegetarian she wouldn't touch it. No, there's plenty left over for a work night dinner or two and I'm betting the flavours will get even better as you say. Glad you liked it and happy to share it with you.

Cheers,

Franko

 

varda's picture
varda

when you post dinner.   At first I kept staring at the top picture wondering what you were trying to write in chard letters and in what language.   Ok.   My eyes playing tricks on  me.   This looks really good.   Like calzone but not like calzone.   Certainly delicious with even half the ingredients you listed.  -Varda

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Varda,

For some reason I've been on a  pizza making kick recently and remembered this dish from years ago, thinking it would be a nice change from the regular old thing. A few more steps involved in it than a pizza or calzone with this particular filling but worth doing if you have the time. Very tasty dish indeed. Thanks for your comments!

Franko

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Wow that looks SO good Franko!

The filling looks amazingly tasty. Thanks so much for posting this.

Cheers,
Phil

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks Phil!

It had a really nice flavour to it, fresher tasting than if it had been done in an open pizza style, with the flavours locked inside the dough rather than being lost to the oven. I'm glad I cut the steam vents though since the roll has stayed fairly crusty  after almost 24 hours since it was baked.

All the best,

Franko

isand66's picture
isand66

Nice job Franko...I will have to give this a try in the near future.  Your filling sounds real tasty.

Regards

Ian

Franko's picture
Franko

Many Thanks Ian, 

This particular filling is a good one, but as I mention in the post it's something you could include or substitute a lot of other ingredients in it and have just as nice a dish. Spicy sausage, lamb, chicken, roasted or caramelized vegetables, etc. Lots of options to play around with.

Cheers,

Franko

 

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

You got my attention and I am ready to make this.

Really nice,  Jeff

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks Jeff!

Hope you enjoy it and looking forward to seeing your own bake of the Nfigghiulata Antica.

Franko

Syd's picture
Syd

That looks delicious Franko!  From Sonia's giant stuffed Maultaschen to your Nfigghiulata Antica there has been a lot of stuffing going on here at TFL.  Looks like you made a good call on snipping some vents otherwise all that moisture would definitely made the dough soggy.  What was your verdict then?  The holes large enough or too small? 

Thanks for sharing,

Syd

 

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks Syd!

It was pretty tasty alright, and Sylvia was spot on saying it would taste even better the next day. The little vents I cut seemed to do the trick as it's still dry and holding it's original shape after 2 days. I made sure that the meat and blanched veg were well drained, so that probably helped as well. 

Franko

Salilah's picture
Salilah

Definitely one to try - many thanks for the post, looks really attractive and intresting...

Franko's picture
Franko

 Sali, and thank you!  Glad you enjoyed the post and hope you try it out sometime.

All the best,

Franko

aytab's picture
aytab

I know this is a bread forum... but I do a similar dish to this but use a flank steak instead of bread dough, then tie the thing up and then slow cook it on very low heat on the grill for about 5 hours. The flank steak turns out so tender after being slow cooked for so many hours. Its called Matambre or "Hunger Killer"

isand66's picture
isand66

You're making me hungry!  Does the meat turn out like a smoked brisket?  Usually flank steak is very lean, so I am surprised that it would not end up being too dry.

I will have to give it a try.  What temp do you use....200 F?

Franko's picture
Franko

Well I've been smoking meat, fish, etc for over 20+ years so you won't hear any complaints from me, especially with a delicious sounding dish like that, besides bread and smoked meat were meant for each other. :^)  I'm guessing you're spraying or mopping it with some sort of liquid, stock, wine, juice, whatever, to keep it moist. Details are what Ian and I are looking for... if you don't mind sharing your recipe with us. It sounds somewhat like a beef version of porchetta, something I posted on back in October of last year here

Thanks for the great idea and hope to hear more about it at some point.

Franko


teketeke's picture
teketeke

Hi Franko,

Thank you for sharing another interesting post, Franko.  I seldom had calzones but I had a piece of calzone once at the pizza restaurant.  It was tasty and I didn't know why I was not motivated to make it by myself..   Yours looks wonderfully great. I will look for the book you mentioned too.  

The filling sounds very good... I don't have such a talent to make nice combination.

Thank you again, Franko!

Akiko

 

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Akiko,

Thank you so much for your kind words regarding the post and the bread roll!

As for you saying "I don't have such a talent to make nice combination" that's simply not true Akiko. I'm sure anyone familiar with your posts would agree that you have great deal of talent. This would be a walk in the park for you my friend.

All the best Akiko,

Franko 

 

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

Love the complexity of your filling, and the way you worked in the historical shape.  Looks just wonderful, and a great way to make bread into the main course, wish I had a slice now. :)

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks FC!

Wish I could take credit for the filling, but I pretty much followed Mr Middione's recipe with some minor additions of my own. I wish I had a slice now as well, but it all gone as of Thursday nights dinner :^( 

Franko

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Franko,
What a great idea, rolling up all kinds of delicious fillings in some nice bread dough (that bread roll of yours looks so tasty with all of those good ingredients!).
Thank you for writing about this interesting Sicilian bread, and for your clear instructions.
As soon as I saw your post I knew I had to try making this, and had the chance to today, making a whole wheat-semolina dough with ricotta/walnut/arugula filling, spiced up with za'atar, preserved lemon, caramelized shallot, red pepper, red chile and garlic.
Just like pizza, there is a world of opportunity for flavorings!
Thanks so much, Franko!
:^) breadsong

EvaB's picture
EvaB

that looks marvelous, and no tomatoes, I get really tired of them at times, and think that pizza must have been made before the tomatoes got there so why not without! That looks marvelous, will have to give it a try, good thing I've just replenished ink and paper for my printer!

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks Eva!

I know what you mean about tomatoes, much as I like them they do get a bit monotonous after a while. This is a nice change, hope you like it.

Franko

Breadandwine's picture
Breadandwine

Hi Franko

Lovely pics!

I've been making a very similar bread for over a dozen years, now, although I've never come across the Sicilian connection before. Very interesting.

I came across this on a TV programme by Antonio Carluccio - he filled his with leftover Italian sausage and Gruyere "Which you've always got in the fridge," quoth he!

Here's the recipe I follow:

http://nobreadisanisland.blogspot.com/2010/06/pane-casereccio-rolled-stuffed-pizza.html

There's a couple of pics in this portfolio - Nrs 17 and 18.

http://nobreadisanisland.blogspot.com/2011/09/portfolio-for-students.html

I've never felt the need to snip holes in any of my bread-encased stuff - doesn't seem to need it, unlike when you're using pastry.

Feel the need for one of these now! 

Thanks for the posting.

Cheers, Paul

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your interest in this and as well for the great links you've included! I put Carluccio's site in my favourite food blogs. He's has some super recipes on there that I'd love to try. The vents I snipped may not have been necessary, but they didn't hurt either. I've made this, and other bread rolls in the past and had some soggy ones on occasion, so it's something I like to avoid if at all possible. The Niffighiualta is something I intend to make a little more often than I have in the past just to  add something different to the bi-monthly pizza cycle. Hope you try it out sometime Paul.

Cheers,

Franko

Breadandwine's picture
Breadandwine

And soon!

I've tended to go a bit easy on the amount of ingredients I include - I can see I'll have to be more adventurous.

There are several things going for this bread we haven't touched on yet - the first is, that, taking care not to get the filling too wet, it's a great picnic bread. It's the one I take when I'm going off for a day's walking in the hills.

Secondly, most likely because of the moist ingredients, it's one heck of a keeper! I've baked one on a Thursday night, carried it around for a whole weekend (because we've been eating in pubs, mainly), and had the remains on Sunday evening - and it's been almost as fresh as when it came out of the oven!

Good tip about keeping the hydration low!

I'll report back next time I make one.

Cheers, Paul