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BBB ~ Ciambella Mandorlata (An Italian Easter Bread)

Totally an Awesome bread, just slightly sweet.  Thank you Aparna!
History and origin may call this an Easter bread but I say it’s nice just about anytime. It makes terrific toast with tea or coffee, morning, noon or night.
Two cautions:
I got a nice oven rise with this but with all bread flour I think it might have been truly huge and so … as Aparna did, placing a ramikin or ring in the middle might be a good idea to keep a hole open in the middle of the ring.
Aparna saw no reason to toast the almonds before baking and neither did I: this is baked with the almonds on top at 400°…how are they not going to toast? As Karen said, watch this and cover with foil so that it doesn’t get too dark.

Aparna Balasubramanian April 2019 from Ultimate Bread Eric Treuille & Ursula Ferrigno
Yield: one round

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DOUGH:
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
430 grams 1/2 bread flour; 1/2 AP

35 grams ground flax seeds
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons maple sugar
grated zest of 3 lemons
113 grams unsalted butter, softened
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup water
TOPPING:
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons maple sugar
1 cup blanched almonds, roughly chopped
1 egg yolk

1. Mix the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the butter, eggs, and milk.
I’m trying to use up what is on hand and only had 1/2 the bread flour called for so used AP.

2. 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.
I used all the water called for.

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

4. 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.

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

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6. Place the dough rope on a buttered baking sheet. As you might see here, I used a skillet. 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.

7. To make the topping mix the cinnamon, sugar, almonds, and egg yolk in a bowl. I used my hands to spread the mixture as evenly as possible over the top of the ring.

8. Bake at 200C (400F) in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, until golden -cover with foil to prevent it getting to dark- and hollow sounding when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire rack.

We would love for you to try out this recipe and join in as a buddy baker this month!  This is a wonderful bread to quickly bake. You don’t have to have a blog to participate, a picture will do.  Just send a picture or your post of your finished bread to comments my kitchen at mac dot com, along with a photo and your baking experience by April. 30 and be sure to put BBBuddy in the subject line. You will receive a Bread Baking Buddy graphic to keep or add to your post, and be included in our Buddy round up at the end of the month. New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants’ baking results during that time.
Enjoy the BAKE!