Ciambella Mandorlata, for Valentine’s Day
This bread is from Beth Hensperger’s book, Bread For All Seasons.
Each ‘season’ in the book has a marvelous introduction discussing breads baked to celebrate various holidays
and occasions, in different countries.
Browsing through the book, I found Ciambella Mandorlata, an almond ring bread; it was noted the French call
a ring-shaped bread la baisure, or ‘kissing crust’ – this seemed like a perfectly sweet thing to bake for Valentine’s Day! :^)
Instead of shaping round rings, for each bread, two tapered batards were curved, and joined at the ends, to form each heart (stopped worrying about the less than perfect surface of this dough, remembering the sugared almond topping the bread would be covered with!):
The bread is has about 15% sugar which we didn’t find too sweet, with soft crumb and tasty crust from the roasted almond, caramelized turbinado sugar and cinnamon topping.
This bread was made with approximately 50% bread flour and 50% soft whole wheat flour (that had a bit of spelt mixed in with in when it was milled).
Here is a crumb shot:
We enjoyed this bread topped with a little bit of good butter, and apricot jelly (so tasty with the almond) –
and a wonderful cup of El Corazón (‘the heart’) coffee! (so good to have on Valentine's Day - thanks, K! :^) )
With many thanks to Beth Hensperger for her lovely book (interesting reading and beautiful breads!)
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
:^) from breadsong