Sicilian, Twisted, Stuffed Bread Rolls
I hadn't made these in a while and decided that tonight was the night... well, to be precise, I had never made this wonderful, twisted Sicilian bread on a small-scale before, as a roll and thought it would be a great idea for a casual, Springtime evening snack.
First things first though... how DO you pronounce that name, I am sure you are thinking? Oh, it's easy! I mean... you DO all speak Sicilian dialect now, don't you? Haha! Ok- repeat after me- "in- fidge-you-lah-teenie"... that sould be pretty close to the real thing! Try to not pronounce the letter "i" at the beginning (because there isn't one in the actual name!), and to start with the "n" if you can. I know- it's a strange language and it's not really Italian any more... but I love it!
I am also pretty sure you are going to love these-here rolls! You could thrill a lot of people for sure with these at a buffet or party- they are such fun!
To make 3 of them this evening, I needed just 1 packet of pre-made pizza dough on a roll, 1 mozzarella cheese, 1 shallot, a handful of cherry tomatoes, a handful of finely chopped bacon, a handful of olives and you guessed it- a handful of basil! But you can use basically any filling you may prefer- it is all about the method here... so let's just get started and I am sure you will make up your own minds what you may want to do to prepare your own version...
Obviously, the ingredients need to be prepared a little... the olives removed from the stones and plucked into quarters, the shallot very finely sliced and the same for the cherry tomatoes- nothing that will take more than 5 minutes... and in the meantime, you can turn on your ovens to the highest setting to be ready to rumble as soon as the rolls are prepared...
Before we can start filling the rolls, we need to pre-cook the bacon and shallot, so into a non-stick pan they go for 5 minutes or so, until the shallot is golden brown and the bacon is beginning to get crispy. Once they have go to this stage they need to cool for a while and in the meantime, we can continue with the pizza dough... it's time to have some fun now!
Simply roll back the dough and starting at the outside edge, lay out the ingredients in a width of just 2" or so- just a little of each thing goes a long way and do be careful not to add too much mozzarella as it will just melt and make everything else too moist and squishy... unless you like that- which I don't!
But hey! I know that other people do like that, so the choice is all yours... just remember- it will most probably all ooze out anyway! So... listen to me! :-)
Season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper and just a hint of salt- the olives and bacon already pack quite a salty punch as it is don't forget!
As I said, you can vary your filling... ham, peppers, capers, artichoke, different cheeses, different herbs... it's all good! Just don't over-fill and more or less you will find that everything goes!
Once the filling is all arranged and ready, simply fold the dough over-on-itself using the parchment paper that it comes on and then cut the dough just a half inch or so wider, so that you can then roll the dough shut. Once you have done that, squeeze the ends closed and get ready to have a bit of fun!
Once you have your "tube" of dough sealed, carefully begin to twist it, as you would if you were to be making sausages- just over-and-over until you have a number of "pockets" of filling along the length of it- very easy so far.
The next step is also very simple... tuck-in one of the ends of the dough, to serve as the centre and then wrap the rest of the tube around it, just like a snail shell, in a little spiral and then tuck the other end slightly beneath the base of the roll.
I liked doing things this way this evening, because just cutting off what I need from the roll of dough as I went along, meant I had no unnecessary waste, no guess-work as to the correct width of the dough strip that I needed... and no extra mess!
Repeat the procedure, adding more filling, folding it shut, cutting it off, twisting it up and on again... one pack of pizza dough will make 3 n'figghiullatini... and considering how little of the other ingredients is needed, you can see what a great and down-to-earth snack this really is!
I used my now universally known frying pan method to make these too- pre-baking them in a non-stick frying pan until they are golden from below, before transferring them from there to the oven at the highest setting for maybe 10 minutes, until they are golden brown and crispy from the top.
The great thing about these little rolls is that not only do they bake really quickly, but also for exactly that reason, the brief amount of time in the oven does not allow the tomato to overcook and become soggy or the basil to wilt away into a mess... These things are simply terrific!
So, that was my little re-cap on this wonderful little idea... and maybe you will enjoy trying them out sometime soon... after all- it's not really any more work than making a nice sandwich and the result is just a tad more interesting and exciting!
And it has they crazy, funky name again!