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Stephmo Wants to get caught up on all sorts of things

Make my own bread (read all 21 entries…)
#12 - Ciambella Mandorlata

So my Dad got me this DK book for Christmas – simply called Bread – if you’ve had any of DK’s books, you know they’re all about photographs and great, simple instructions. So how couldn’t I make a traditional Italian Easter Bread with a Nut Brittle? Onto the usual -

The Ingredients:

Salt, sugar, eggs, milk, flour, yeast, butter, and what I think will be genius – Nut Glaze. Laugh at my genius now, for it is pure folly!

This actually requires preparation, so from all my years of watching cooking shows – mis en place action:

Eggs that have been beaten, 3 zested lemons and yest that’s been making friends with lukewarm milk.

Instead of my normal mixer, this is all done by hand – swear! Here’s the progression:

I will say having the smell of fresh lemon zest is rather nice – and let’s face it, you’re not exactly just letting it all go down the drain when it comes to washing your hands. :) Taste test! MMMM.

I even knead it by hand and it actually looks like dough from the KitchenAid, proving my theory that people made bread before electricity (I know!):

So, now to let everything rise – and to rest from quite a bit of activity!

After a successful rise comes the construction. To make the ring, it involves making dough ropes, intertwining them and actually getting the rope to a buttered parchment paper:

So the ring rises and I get to my folly – the shortcut nut brittle. See, this stuff was caramelized nuts and I figure, chop it up and bake it with this bread instead of making the stuff with just a little sugar and cinnamon – smart, right? See – here I am mixing it with egg yolk:

Hey – there’s my risen ring and I top it with my lovely egg-washed nut brittle and throw it into the 400 degree oven for 45 minutes, what could go wrong

I know, I know, you smarter cookies are already saying, “that prepackaged stuff is mostly caramel which is already burnt sugar – how much more heat do you think it could take, Steph?” Okay, so I wasn’t so bright:

But all was not lost – the BREAD portion was divine! Sweet, feathery and lemony – you can see the natural tear in the back and the spring in the crumb:

Hey, they can’t all be winners! ;)



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