The "S" shape is called "occhi di Santa Lucia" (eyes of St. Lucy). The same "S" shape , called "julgalt" or "lussekat" in Sweden, is used in saffron buns traditionally made all over Scandinavia to celebrate Santa Lucia Day (13 December).
Closer look at "occhi di Santa Lucia". Note that the bread dough traditionally used for this shape in Sicilian bread is made from semolina flour. Please don't send the Syracuse bread police after me because I used rye flour, whole wheat and unbleached all-purpose flours instead.
To shape this bread, form the dough into a rope. For the occhi di Santa Lucia, the rope needs to be quite long. Luckily, the dough is very slack and stretchy. Let gravity help you to make the rope longer.
Shaped into crescent and "occhi di Santa Lucia".
Closer look at "occhi di Santa Lucia"
After shaping, sprinkle generously with sesame seeds. Use oil-cured black olives for the eyes if you want.
Closer look at shaped occhi di Santa Lucia
This bread is perfect with puy lentils and sausage.
excerpt from www.antiquespectacles.com:
Saint Lucy of Syracuse (284-304), also known as Saint Lucia, Santa Lucia, or Saint Lukia, [...] Patroness of Syracuse, also the principal Catholic representative of the patron saint of the blind and those with eye-trouble; Protector of Eyesight; also patron saint of Opticians, Ophthalmologists and Firemen; the patron saint of the sailor [...] The chosen feature of her sainthood is not, however, the martyrdom itself, but a previous incident. It was said that her lover had so greatly admired her beautiful eyes that she felt it was a sin. The legend continues, "considering these things and calling to mind the words of Christ, 'If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee,' and fearing lest her eyes should be the cause of damnation to the young man, she called for a knife and took out her eyes and sent them to her lover in a dish with these words; 'Here hast thou what thou so much desired.' Whereat the young man became utterly astonished and full of grief and remorse became also a convert to Christ. God would not suffer that the blessed Lucia, having given proof of her courage and piety, should remain blind, for one day, as she knelt in prayer her eyes were restored to her more beautiful than before."