Ciambella Mandorlata, an Italian Easter bread

For Bread Baking Babes bread bake of the months this time was chosen a Ciambella Mandorlata. The Source of the recipe . I just copy down Aparna’s text. I made a few changes and described it in the notes.


Ciambella Mandorlata originated in Bologna in the Emilia Romagna region. It is typically baked in the shape of a twisted ring. The ring shape of the bread is supposed to represent the unity of the family.
The name is self explanatory if one knows Italian. Ciambella describes any ring shaped cake and Mandorla is the word for almonds. So this ring shaped bread has a soft brioche-like texture and is decorated with a crunchy sweet cinnamon spiced almond topping. Though baked for Easter, it is generally eaten throughout the year, and mostly at breakfast.


For the dough:
2 tsp dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm milk*
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour**
2 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
grated zest of 3 lemons
100 g unsalted butter soft at room temperature
2 eggs beaten lightly
1/2 tsp almond extract***
1/2 tsp lemon extract***
1/2 cup water*
For the topping:
4 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup roughly chopped almonds
1 egg yolk + tbs water
For the Dough :
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.

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.

Mix in the flour from the sides of the well. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed, to form a soft, sticky dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth, springy, and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Put the dough in a clean bowl and cover with a dish towel. Let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 4 hours. Punch down the dough, then let rest, covered with a dish towel, for about 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into two equal pieces and roll each piece into a 16-inch-long rope. Twist the two dough ropes together.

Place the dough rope on a buttered baking sheet. Shape it into a ring by bringing the two ends of the rope together. Pinch them to seal and cover with a dish towel. Proof until doubled in size, about 11 ⁄2 hours.

To make the topping mix the cinnamon, sugar, almonds, and egg yolk in a bowl. Use a rubber spatula to spread the mixture evenly over the top of the ring.

Bake at 200C (400F) in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, until golden and hollow sounding when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire rack.


My Notes

*I used mixture of dry milk and water. 3 tablespoons of the Non-Fat Dry Milk Powder mixed with 1 cup of water.

**50/50 pf all-pupose and bread flour

*** I used 1 teaspon of Fiori di Sicilia 


I used my bread proofer box at 77°F. Risning time was 3 hours.

I would skip cinnamon and sugar mixture next time and bake only with almonds.


Roast pineapple with tamarind and chilli, and coconut ice-cream

I wouldn’t change a word in this recipe. It’s perfect. Combination of sweet, tangy, and sour ingredients is amazing. It’s not actually hot, the pepper just gives some kick to the dish. However, if you can’t tolerate spicy food at all, then skip it.


1 very large pineapple, peeled and cut in half lengthways, then each half cut into three long wedges, core removed
6 small sprigs Thai basil (optional)

For the ice-cream
150ml double cream
400ml coconut milk
250ml coconut cream
12 fresh kaffir lime leaves
1 vanilla pod, cut in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
2 egg yolks
90g caster sugar
1½ tbsp lime juice

For the spiced syrup
600ml water
90g caster sugar
16 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick, broken into six pieces
1 large red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 vanilla pod, cut in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tbsp tamarind paste*

*You can buy ready-made tamarind paste, but it’s easy enough to make your own. To make two tablespoons of paste, soak 30g tamarind pulp with 60ml water for half an hour, squeezing from time to time, so all the tamarind disperses through the water, and strain through a fine-mesh sieve.

First make the ice-cream. Put the cream, coconut milk, coconut cream, kaffir lime leaves and vanilla pod and seeds in a medium saucepan on a medium-high heat, until just coming to the boil. Remove from the heat and set aside for five minutes to infuse.

Put the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until creamy and pale. Using a ladle, spoon a little of the hot cream mix on to the egg mix, whisking continuously. Continue adding the cream until everything is incorporated, then wipe the pan clean and pour in the custard. Cook on a medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring continuously, until it’s a light custard consistency; don’t overcook, or it will split. Strain, discarding the leaves and pods, and set aside for 30 minutes. Once the custard is cool, add the lime juice and pour into an ice-cream machine. Churn for about 35 minutes, until semi-frozen but still creamy, then transfer to a cold plastic container and freeze. Remove from the freezer five minutes before serving.

Heat the oven to 240C (220C fan)/gas mark 9. Put all the syrup ingredients in a medium saucepan on a medium-high heat, bring to a boil, then turn the heat to medium and simmer gently for five minutes.

Put the pineapple wedges in a high-sided medium baking tray (30cm x 22cm), pour the syrup evenly over the fruit, and roast for 40-50 minutes, basting every 10 minutes or so, until the pineapple is cooked through and caramelised, and a knife goes in without any resistance. Keep an eye on the liquid levels in the tray: if it dries out, stir in some water. Leave the pineapple to cool slightly in the syrup for five minutes, then lift it out of the tray.

Serve a wedge of pineapple per person. Drizzle a teaspoon and a half of syrup over each portion, dot with a few cloves and a shard of cinnamon from the syrup, scatter over the Thai basil, if using, and serve with a scoop of ice-cream.



In Russian

На 6 порций
Один большой ананас, разделать и порезать на несколько кусочков
6 небольших веточек тайского базилика (на фото) (опционально)

Для мороженого
150мл 30% сливок
400мл кокосового молока
250мл кокосовых сливок
12 свежих листьев каффир лайма
1 стручок ванили, разрезать пополам, семена вынуть
4 яичных желтка*
90г сахара
1½ ст.ложка сока лайма
*в оригинале 2. У меня с таким количеством английский крем не густел

Для пикантного сиропа
600мл воды
90г сахара
16 столбиков гвоздики
1 палочка корицы, поломать на кусочки
1 большой красный перец чили, семена вынуть и крупно порубить
1 стручок ванили, разрезать пополам, семена вынуть
5см кусочек корня имбиря, очистить от кожуры и тонко нашинковать
2 ст.ложки пасты тамаринда**
*пасту можно сделать самому. Для этого замочите 30г тамаринда в 60мл воды на пол-часа, время от времени выжимая плоды. После чего процедите через мелкое сито.


Сначала сделайте мороженое.
– поместите сливки, кокосовое молоко и кокосовые сливки, листья лайма и ванильный стручок с семенами в сотейник среднего размера. Доведите смесь до кипения на среднем огне. Снимите с огня и поставьте настояться на 5-10 минут. ( Я настаивала пол-часа).
-поместите желтки и сахар в большую миску и взбивайте до кремообразного состояния. Влейте немного молочной смеси к желткам, помешивая. Полученную смесь перелейте назад в кастрюлю и, постоянно помешивая, готовьте на среднем огне пока не загустеет. Можно крем сварить на водяной бане. Готовится на среднем огне минут 15-20. Процедите и остудите в течение 30 минут. добавьте сок лайма. Полностью охладите в течение несколько часов.
– заморозьте в мороженице согласно инструкции. Переложите в пластиковый контейнер и уберите в морозильную камеру. Достаньте за 5 минут до подачи, чтобы мороженое слегка оттаяло.

Запекание ананаса.
Нагрейте духовку 240C (220C конвекция)/газ 9.
– поместите все ингредиенты для сиропа в сотейник и доведите до кипения, а затем уменьшите огонь до среднего и кипятите 5 минут.

-поместите кусочки ананаса в жаропрочную посуду прямоугольной формы, полейте равномерно готовым сиропом и запекайте 40-50 минут, время от времени поливая ананас жидкостью. Если сиропа будет мало, а ананас ещё не готов, подлейте воды. Готовый ананас будет карамелизован и мягким, сквозь него будет легко проходить нож. Выньте из духовки и слегка остудите в течение 5 минут.
Для сервировки выложите кусочки ананаса на тарелку, добавьте сверху специи из сиропа, полейте им и сервируйте с листиками тайского базилика и шариком кокосового мороженого.


Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: