Sfogliata con Olive e Acciughe

Olive and Anchovy Bread


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

This is a light loaf from Puglia with lots of flavour and a lovely texture. To prepare the dough the traditional way you really need on-the-spot training from a local baker, but this recipe is a good start and will produce something quite delicious. Serve the bread as part of an antipasto course, with a richly dressed tomato salad and some chilli-spiked salami and sliced prosciutto, or with a selection of seafood dressed with olive oil, chilli and garlic. Serve warm or cold.


  • 300 g/11 oz/ cups fine pasta flour or fine-milled plain/all-purpose white flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1.5 ml/1.4 tsp salt
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • olive oil, for deep-frying


  1. Pile the flour on a clean work surface and plunge your fist in the top of the flour to make a hollow all the way through.
  2. Mash the yeast in a small bowl with just enough water to make a thick liquid. Pour this into the hollow, add about one-third of the olive oil and knead together very thoroughly with your hands for at least 10 minutes to make a dough that is as pliable and elastic as possible.

  3. When the dough comes away easily from your hands and is no longer sticky, divide it into smallish lumps and roll each lump out to a disc that is about the size of a side plate.

  4. Place each dough disc on a separate plate (so they don’t stick), cover with clean dish cloths and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk. This should take about 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Brush an oval baking dish, about 18cm/7in in length, with some of the remaining oil.
  6. Knock back or punch down each of the discs of dough and flatten them using your hands. Sprinkle each disc with a few olives, a few pieces of anchovy and a little olive oil.

  7. Roll a disc up loosely to make a tube shape about 2.5-3cm/1-¼in thick, then stand it on end and push it down from the top to squash it slightly. Repeat for the remaining discs.
  8. Stand all the squashed tubes side by side in the greased baking dish. Push them up tight against one another to make one big loaf. Brush the surface with oil.

  9. Bake for 40 minutes, until the loaf is well risen and is golden brown. Remove from the dish and cool on a wire rack.