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Nov 23, 2012 11:44 PM

Do you know an Italian yeast sweet bread called Ciamballone?Is it Panettone or Pandoro in Disguise?

Are any of you helpful CHs familiar with an Italian sweet yeast bread called Ciamballone(also spelled Ciambellone)? Whole Foods sells wedges of it (imported I believe) and I adore it. It is very moist and soft- like a good brioche- and has lots of soaked raisins and citron. Here is a photo of the WF product:

Photo of ciamballone in bakery window in italy near Padua:
Doesn't this look like a shorter version of pandoro or panettone?

I spent some time web researching Ciamballone and most all of the entries spell it w/ an 'e' and also are cakes, not yeast based. I did find this one yeast recipe (see below) but it has no rising step; it is simply mixed and baked. I've never seen yeast used like this; have you? Do you know what effect this yeast would have? The photo of it looks pretty much like a baking powder cake.

CIAMBELLONE (Big Doughnut)

◦3 eggs

◦300gr all purpose flour

◦200gr sugar

◦1/2 glass of vegetable oil

◦1 glass of milk

◦25gr of baking yeast

◦orange or lemon zest, grated

◦5gr of butter to grease the pan

1.Preheat the oven at 350/390°F. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix it with a whisk, or put them into the food processor and turn it on. Mix until evenly combined.

2.Grease your baking pan with butter and then add some flour and move the pan to even distribute the flour on the surface. Add the batter and cook for 40 minutes. You can check if it’s ready by piercing the cake with a skewer. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready.

3.IMPORTANT! do not open the oven in the first 25 minutes or the cake will collapse

Thx much for your help!

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  1. I could not find a recipe in my copy of The Italian Baker by Carol Field. Key in 'Ciamballone recipe' on the internet. There are 40,400 hits to be accessed. Maybe one of those websites can help you find what you want.

    In bocca al lupo!

    1. The problem with Italian food is that there can be many different names for the same thing depending on where the item is made, or sold, or produced. Your ciambalone looks and sounds a lot like a panettone. If you're willing to experiment, I would find a recipe for panettone and try that. The pre-rising ciambalone recipe you found does not look like it has the airiness of the WF one. Why not see what happens when you make a panettone in a ring pan? Somewhere, deep in the recesses of Italian baking, there might be an explanation that reads: "In ____ province, panettone is made in a ring pan and called ciambalone."!!

      2 Replies
      1. re: roxlet

        rox, your last thought was mine exactly! but i admit that i gave this topic 1-2 hr of web research time and then i gave up and posted my CH question.

        1. re: opinionatedchef

          If you find out more, could you share? The big donut one/cake one looks good. I love that the recipe is accurate enough to be in grams and then calls for a glass of milk. Plus, you just put all the ingredients in a food processor and let it go? I'd love to know how it turns out.