The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ciambella Mandorlata, for Valentine’s Day

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Ciambella Mandorlata, for Valentine’s Day

Hello,
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

Comments

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Nice!  Happy Valentine's Day, Breadsong!

-Floyd

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Thanks, Floyd!
 I hope you had a Happy Valentine's Day, too.
:^) breadsong

ananda's picture
ananda

Great idea Breadsong, and the coating must taste amazing.

All good wishes

Andy

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Andy, and thank you!
Yes, you are right about the coating - roasty, toasty almonds and sweetness from the sugar, a bit of crunch, and a hint of cinnamon - quite yummy!
:^) breadsong

 

Franko's picture
Franko

Now that's the way to start off Valentine's Day on the right note!

Great shaping breadsong and the crumb looks moist and tender as well. No doubt this is a delicious slice to have with morning coffee.

Happy Valentine's Day breadsong, all the best.

Franko 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Franko,
Thank you so much for your compliments on this bread!
It was really nice to have this bread and coffee as a special treat for Valentine's breakfast.
I hope you enjoyed your Valentine's Day also.
:^) breadsong

Syd's picture
Syd

Perfect shaping Breadsong.  The crunchy topping, I am sure, is delicious.  I like the way it has cracked open slightly almost like a rye bread does.

Best,

Syd

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Syd,
Thank you so much for your comment :^)
I was debating whether or not I should score these - I tried to score one but it wasn't looking good so left the other two.
I was grateful for how they baked up - wasn't sure what might happen in the oven, not being scored.
We  l-o-v-e-d  the topping.
:^) from breadsong


 

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

Lovely! Perfect shaping, indeed, I'm amazed at how perfect those hearts baked up.  Wonderful way to celebrate Valentine's Day :)

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello FlourChild,
Thanks so much!
I was relieved that these breads, after proofing and baking, didn't fill in too much in the middle -
and still resembled hearts!
:^) from breadsong

varda's picture
varda

quite the romantic.  Lovely baking for Valentine's day.  -Varda

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Varda,
Thank you - these were fun breads to make to celebrate the occasion!
:^) from breadsong

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

could make hearts out of bread? Very nice touch for a romantic day breadsong.

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello,
Thanks so much for your nice comment and I'm glad you liked these 'hearts'.
It was fun to bake something special for Valentine's Day!
:^) from breadsong

 

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

that baking bread comes from the heart. Beautiful bread.   Happy Valentine's Day!  Pam

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Pam,
What a kind thing to say - thank you so much!
Hope your Valentine's Day was wonderful.
:^) from breadsong

louie brown's picture
louie brown

Beautifully done, breadsong. The Italians often use a ring shape. You adapted it beautifully for the holiday. I hope your Valentine's Day was a happy as your bread is lovely..

breadsong's picture
breadsong

louie, thank you so much for this very kind comment of yours.
It was a very happy Valentine's Day and I hope yours was too!
:^) from breadsong