Sunday, February 14, 2010


Cooking Italy Assignment
Ciambella—Grandmother's Pastry Ring, p592

Now, this was a nice assignment, an easy-to-make ... cake? pastry? Whatever it is, it's good, and we've been enjoying the last bits with our morning tea and coffee for several days now. My ciambella looks less ring-like than it ought, I guess, a bit more like a giant bagel instead.

There was a bit of discussion on the list about the amount of liquid (scalded milk) in the recipe. It seems like the 1/4 cup in the recipe is much too little, resulting in a dry, unmanageable dough. (I searched to see if there might be a published list of errata for this book somewhere online, but turned up nothing of interest.) I used the Pizza program on my bread machine to do the mixing. I added all the ingredients, and watched as it came together, adding milk until it seemed a good texture. I ended up using a little more than 1/2 cup, I think; maybe it could have taken a bit more milk, but the dough would have been quite soft and difficult to turn into a "sausage."

The dough is rolled out to make a long skinny piece which is formed into a ring, then anointed with an egg yolk wash before baking.

It took quite a bit longer to bake than the 35 minutes indicated in the book. This could be because this oven is so small and heat circulation limited by the baking sheet. I just kept adding time until it was done, probably close to an hour in total.

The result is really nice and will be made again, no doubt. It has a lovely lemony taste and a texture like shortcake, not the spongey kind, but the denser, chewy kind.


  1. I'm so glad you liked it. I was so hesitant to put up a pastry cake like this, but seems everyone enjoys their giant coffee cake.

  2. Your Ciambella looks lovely! I;m glad you've all enjoyed it so much!

  3. It looks great, like a giant bagel, and who would not love to have one of those? The flavor in this was just delightful. I liked it best warm from the oven. Fun to make a dough. You did a wonderful job!