I had Ciambella in Rome, but the one I had there was at the street festival at the Piazza and it was Ciambella the way that the cheese you get at the fair (skewered, battered, and deep fried) is an example of cheddar. The Piazza ciambella was really a giant doughnut. It was delcious, and hot on a cold, cold night, but there is another version of ciambella, closer to biscotti than doughnut, and it is even better.
I got the recipe out of Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. And then I made a few changes that I will put in italics.
- 8T melted butter
- 4 C bleached flour
- 3/4 C granulated sugar
- 3.5 t baking powder
- Peel of one lemon grated without digging into the pith underneath **I added a full cup of lemon zest which is more like 2 grated lemons
- 1/4 c lukewarm milk **in addition I added half a lemon’s worth of juice to sour the milk and react to the baking powder
- 2 eggs
Preheat oven to 375.
I am going to simplify the method here, but do check out the original recipe for more exhaustive instructions.
I put all the dry ingredients into the mixer, mixed.
I added the rest of the ingredients (holding back a bit of egg yolk to brush atop the ciambella), then thoroughly mixed.
I kneaded the dough for a few minutes, shaped it into a two inch thick sausage, formed a ring with it, and brushed the top with the egg yolk that I saved (and added a bit of water to).
Bake (I lined my cookie sheet with parchment paper) on a cookie sheet for 35 minutes (mine took closer to 45). Let cool, and if you can stand to wait a day, wait because it is (supposedly) better the second day. I wouldn’t know.
Even with all the extra zest I put in, the ciambella is just barely lemony, and soo good. I put extra zest in because the yellowy orange Meyer lemons I have a tree full of are so beautiful, and taste so fresh.
And speaking of beautiful, fresh lemons, of which I have a tree full of – Limoncino is my next foray into the nexus of Italian cookery – and lemons!