Ciambella Mandorlata
A ring shaped festive brioche like Easter bread from Italy topped with a crunchy mixture of cinnamon, sugar and chopped almonds.
Servings Prep Time
1loaf 20minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45minutes 2.5hours
Servings Prep Time
1loaf 20minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45minutes 2.5hours
Ingredients
For the dough:
Instructions
For the Dough :
  1. You can knead the dough by hand or in a machine. As always, I use my food processor on low speed and finish off the kneading by hand.
  2. Mix the yeast and the milk in a small bowl. Let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes till frothy. Mix the flour, salt, sugar, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the butter, eggs, extracts and dissolved yeast.
  3. Mix in the flour from the sides of the well. Add the water, a little at a time, till a soft, sticky dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead until the dough is smooth, springy, and elastic.
  4. Shape into a round, and place in an oiled bowl, turning it to coat well. Cover loosely and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 4 hours (See my note above, about rising times). Deflate the dough gently, cover and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
  5. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and roll each piece into a 16-inch-long rope. Twist the two dough ropes together.
  6. Place the dough rope on a parchment lined baking sheet. Shape it into a ring by bringing the two ends of the rope together. Pinch them well to seal and cover loosely. Let the dough rise again until doubled in size, about 11 ⁄2 hours (once again, a reminder about my note on proofing times).
For the Topping:
  1. Mix the cinnamon, sugar, almonds, and egg yolk in a bowl. Use a rubber spatula or brush to spread the mixture evenly over the top of the ring. If you don’t like using egg on top of your breads like me, leave out the egg yolk. Instead brush the cornstarch mixture on top of the ring. Then evenly sprinkle cinnamon sugar nut mixture over this. Gently press in the nuts using the tip of your fingers. Be careful not to deflate the dough.
  2. Bake at 200C (400F) in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, until it is golden and hollow sounding when tapped underneath. Check after 15 minutes. If the bread is browning too quickly, tent it with aluminum foil.
  3. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. Serve with jam and coffee.