Traditional Ciambelle Ciociare: We are extremely relieved to have finally got our hands on an authentic Italian recipe for Ciambelle Ciociare. We found a few videos on YouTube but can’t tell you how difficult it is to find an authentic recipe. Thanks to someone’s Nonna and a wide selection of other research, we can without fear of getting hit over the head by a passing authenic Italian, tell you that we are making you REAL Ciambelle Ciociare! These below were the results of our very first trial:
Ciambelle Ciociare is a bread that is not eaten in the usual way. Let us explain. As you arrive at one of the colourful Italian markets around the Lazio region, you will come across a basket full of Ciambelle. They are normally sold for a small price of between 1 and 2 euros, by an elderly lady who has most definately made them. They are made using fennel or anise and the aroma is so irresistible that you simply have to buy one but not for taking home with you, it often never makes it that far. As you wander through the market enjoying every stall and offerings of tasty morsels to sample, you will be tearing small pieces from your traditional Ciambelle Ciociare until it is finally all gone.
Ciambelle Ciociare is crisp and glossy on the outside, soft on the inside and dotted with, in our case, fennel seeds. We hope you enjoy this rare opportunity to sample what is one of the delightful experiences of real Italy.
You want the recipe? Well, you may feel this mean but we believe that you will enjoy searching for the recipe yourself. As you journey through your research you will discover much more about this humble Italian bread and with it be touched by a little bite of Italian culture.
OK!! Just kidding 🙂
Ingredients for 13 – 14 100 gram ciambelle
- 500 grams (1 lb) Tipo 00 flour
- 500 grams (1 lb) all purpose flour
- 1 heaped teaspoon salt (the salt does add flavour however, you could omit it if you are following a low salt diet)
- 6 grams (1/4 ounce) active yeast, we use Fleischmann’s
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons anise seeds or fennel seeds
- (If you cannot find anise seeds fennel seeds are a good substitute)
- 0.75 – 1 litre luke warm water
Shaping your ciambelle ciociare:
- Combine the flours with the anise (or fennel seeds).
- Mix the yeast with 60 mls of the warm water and stir to dissolve.
- Pour the flour out onto a clean work surface and create a well in the centre so that the pile looks like a volcano.
- Pour in the warm yeast mix and work into the flour a little at a time using the tips of your fingers.
- Add 2 tablespoons of the oil to the flour and work into the flour.
- Add the salt to 60 mls of warm water and stir to dissolve then add this to the flour and work it in.
- Continue adding the warm water 60 mls at a time until you have created a dough.
- Knead the dough until firm, smooth and roll into a 2 foot log.
- Place into a plastic bag, loosely cover and cover that with a tea towel. Allow to rise at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Now bring a large pan of water with the other 2 tablespoons of oil, to a boil and set the oven to 350F/180C.
- Meanwhile keep the dough covered and remove 100 grams (4 ounce) slices at a time then roll these pieces into 1 foot long ropes. Place the rolls of dough under the plastic bag and cover as you continue to form the rest of the dough.
- Working with the first rope of dough, form your ciambelle by pushing with your hand and folding. Then bring the ends together and secure them firmly to form a ring.
- Place each ciambelle into the boiling water until it floats to the surface.
- Remove the ciambelle and allow it to drain before placing it onto a flat baking sheet – or simply cover your oven shelves directly with aluminium foil. Place each ciambelle onto the sheet and don’t worry how close they are to eachother, they will not rise or expand further. Continue until you have finished your baking sheets full.
- Place the ciambelle in the oven for 30 minutes until they have reached a rich golden brown.
- You can successfully freeze ciambelle ciociare once they have cooled completely but they are better eaten fresh!