Joining a baking society
I work for a large corporation… one of the advantages of it is that I have colleagues from all walks of life and with a different array of tastes and experiences.
One of these is a self proclaimed group which makes up the company’s Baking Society. We’re all fans of the GBBO, we all love a sourdough starter and a cookie recipe and a couple of us are even semi-pro bakers.
We meet once a month over lunch. Lunch of course, consists of baked goods. We pick a theme each session and those who can, bake and bring their wares to the team to munch upon while we chat about the latest TV show or the latest Instagram baking craze. It’s fun!
The theme for one of our sessions was ‘spiced biscuits’. Since I am still in a temporary kitchen with a temperamental oven, I knew I could not really challenge myself too much.
I decided to make something that is a classic in Italy and that is really easy to make. So easy, that I should really make it more often!
The ciambelline al vino have been baked by myself and my sister for years, always following the same fool-proof formula. Yet since the theme was ‘spices’ I pimped up the classic recipe with pleasant results.
The lucuma gives a subtle sweetness to the crunchy biscuits, and the vanilla a touch of warmth.
They proved a success with my fellow bakers, so I decided to share the recipe beyond our group.
- 250gr plain flour
- 50gr golden caster sugar
- 50gr lucuma powder
- 1/2 tbspoon vanilla essence
- Half glass of extra virgin olive oil
- Half glass of dry white wine
- Cane sugar to garnish
- Mix everything (except the cane sugar) in a bowl with a wooden spoon, then finish mixing by hand until you have a fairly soft, elastic but not sticky dough.
- Cut off small bits and make some long ‘tubes’ on a flat surface, rolling them with your hands. They should be around 1cm diameter. Cut sections, and stick the two ends together to make a donut like shape.
- The size is up to taste, we make them small (so each section is about 6cm long before rounding up) but some shops sell them bigger!
- Dip each in the cane sugar to coat one size and bake in pre heated oven on a silicon mat or baking parchment at around 180c for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
- They keep well for a few days. This recipe yields a lot and can easily be halved.