I cannot believe this October will be eight years since my month-long Italian culinary adventure. In this trip I collected many recipes from food festivals, cooking classes, and even swapped recipes on train rides. The recipe for these ciambelline al vino came from my aunt Dina who lives in Calvi dell’Umbria, a small village an hour drive north of Rome. In 2008 uncle Gino, my mom’s youngest brother, and aunt Dina celebrated their 50th weeding anniversary the Italian way; with mass at the village’s church, a seven course lunch (so much food I had to skip a few dishes to keep room for dessert :)), a selection of wines/champagnes and lots of dancing 🙂
Every morning while in Calvi I looked forward to dipping these not too sweet and crunchy ciambelline in a cappuccino … they were absolutely heavenly! Some people also have them after lunch or dinner dipped in a sweet dessert wine, or as a teatime snack.
Ciambelline in Italian means little “ciambella”. “Ciambella” is a generic term used to describe any ring-shaped cookie, doughnut, cake or bread that varies in size anywhere from two to ten inches in diameter. Many regions in Italy have either sweet or savory ciambelle (plural for ciambella); for example Calabria and Campania have a sweet fried doughnut, Emilia-Romagna has a baked doughnut made with butter, Lazio has a baked doughnut made with wine and anise (ciambelline al vino), and Le Marche has a baked doughnut with anise liquor and boiled egg.
Marco stayed with us for two weeks during this summer break and one of our cooking projects was making this ciambelline al vino and taking pictures for this blog entry. I loved spending time with him specially doing what we both enjoy … cooking and eating <3
- 5 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder (original recipe uses an envelop of Panneangeli lievito)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup of sugar plus extra ½ cup for dipping
- 1 cup of white wine (Vermouth)
- 4 grams of anise or fennel seeds (original recipe uses 20 grams)
- ½ cup of olive oil (original recipe uses 1 cup of oil)
- 2 eggs (original recipe uses 4 eggs)
- grated rind of 1 lemon and 1 orange
- Soak the anise or fennel seeds in wine for at least an hour. Sift the seeds and set the wine aside. I prefer not to use the seeds in the ciambelline because their flavor can be overpowering.
- Preheat oven to 350 ˚F.
- Pour the flour on the kitchen counter and shape it into a mound.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour mound.
- Add the dry ingredients first follow by the wet ones.
- Beat the mixture lightly and quickly with a fork.
- With the fork or your finders, start mixing the flour into the wet mixture, drawing it from the side of the well.
- When the flour and wet ingredients make a wet dough, spread the rest of the flour over the wet dough and mix with your hands.
- Gather the dough into a ball and knead with your hands for 5 minutes. If the dough is too sticky add a teaspoon of flour at a time. Be careful not to add too much.
- Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Pour the extra sugar in a shallow dish.
- Take a piece of the dough in your hand and roll into a sausage about ¾ inch thick and 6 inches long. Softly squeeze the ends together to make a circle.
- Dip one side of the ciambellina into the sugar and lightly press then dip the other side.
- Transfer onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Baked for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Turn baking sheet at the half time mark.
Did you make this recipe?