Sweet Italian Holiday Bread
Total TimePrep: 15 min. Bake: 45 min.
Makes1 loaf (20 slices)
I liked the idea of this traditional Italian bread ...but mine spread terribly and ended up a large disk instead of a rounded loaf. Wish I knew what I did wrong. I'd like to try it again. I thought the flavor was nice. I did add the additional 1/3 cup sugar and rubbed in the orange zest two days ahead as suggested in the comments. Really liked the crunch the course sugar gave the top.
A few things: First, the night before (or two nights before) you plan to bake this, rub the fresh grated peel into the measured-out sugar with your fingers, VERY well. Seal tightly and set aside until ready to bake the bread. This step makes a very big difference in the intensity of flavor. Second: Use your favorite citrus fruits. Winter is harvest time; grapefruits, tangerines, etc. are all in season and inexpensive. We (family & friends) liked mandarins most. Third: Add an additional one-third cup of sugar. You'll end up with a lovely sweet bread to serve with tea and/or a loaf you can turn into instant biscotti. Just cut into thick slices and return to the oven at 325 degrees and toast until pleasingly crunchy on each size. Embellish or not as desired. Some would dip in melted white or dark chocolate (I wouldn't), or a simple glaze scented with cinnamon or nutmeg or mace, or rose petals or lavender or rosemary or whatever sounds tasty to you. Experiment and let the rest of us hear your results, please?
t looks like you sprinkled sesame seeds on top, or is that the sugar?? I think I'd like to make this today. Thank you.
You may need to be Italian to appreciate this cofee cake. It is very plain but delicious. I haven't tried this recipe yet, but it is just like my mom's ciambella she made for 75 years. Thanks for sharing it.