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Mafalda | Sicilian Sandwich Bread Recipe

Mafalda is a type of Sicilian sandwich bread that is not only delicious, but beautiful! The final product looks complicated, but it’s actually a very simple bread to make at home. Feel free to use it with any sandwich stuffing you like, but we highly recommend pairing it with panelle, a fried chickpea polenta and a classic sandwich stuffer in Sicily.


mafalda-recipe-sicily-sicilian-panini-panino-sandwich-bread-roll-sesame-seed-s-pane-e-panelle
Mafalda | Sicilian Sandwich Bread Recipe

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MAFALDA RECIPE


Makes: 8 to 10 sandwich rolls

Cook Time: 5 hours, largely unattended


For this recipe, you will need:

  • 5 cups (600 g) semolina flour, plus extra for dusting

  • 1 teaspoon (3 g) active dry yeast

  • 450 milliliters (a little less than 2 cups) water

  • 3 teaspoons (15 g) salt

  • Sesame seeds for topping


In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix the flour and yeast together. Gradually add about ¾ of the water while mixing by hand. When most of the flour is dampened, add the salt and the remaining water and continue to mix the dough in the bowl until the flour and water are evenly incorporated into a sticky dough.


Transfer the dough onto a clean work surface and knead it by hand until it is smooth and no longer sticky. Have patience, it takes a little time! A bench scraper is helpful for scraping the sticky dough off of the surface when necessary.


Transfer the dough back into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise at room temperature until it doubles in size—about 2 to 3 hours depending on the temperature.


Transfer the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface and give it a quick knead. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut the dough into 8 to 10 equal portions. We recommend using a scale to make portions that are about 100 grams each.


Take one dough portion and roll it under your palms into a long snake, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in width. Form about ¾ of the snake into an “S” shape, then drape the remaining end on top to close the bun. The forming technique is easier to show than to describe, so the following image should make the desired shape clear.


how-to-shape-make-mafalda-bread
How to Shape Mafalda Bread


Place the formed dough onto a floured baking sheet and repeat to shape the remaining dough portions. Keep the buns a few inches apart on the baking sheet; you may need two sheets to accommodate all of the bread. Generously dust the tops of the buns with flour, cover them loosely with plastic wrap, and let them rise for 45 to 60 minutes at room temperature—until they noticeably puff up and rise.


Preheat the oven to 390°F (200°C).


Remove the plastic wrap from the buns. Lightly brush the dough with water and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top. Bake the bread for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden on top.


The bread can be served warm and fresh or at room temperature. For longterm storage, freeze the bread.


Buon appetito!



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5 Comments


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