Joined Feb 21, 2001
We sell this at the earthy crunchy grocery store and I would like to make one, but any recipe I find on the web is too scary. Anyone got a recipe. Pongi?.... Ours is made with yeast, not soda or baking powder and has a loooong shelf life. It's also very good.
Joined Nov 29, 2001
I used to make this every year at Easter - maybe revive that tradition?? :)

Italian Easter Egg Bread
From best of Bon Appetit 1979

Makes one 12" circular loaf

2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. yeast
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup milk
2 tbsp. butter

2 eggs, room temp

1/2 cup chopped mixed candied fruit or raisins
1/2 cup coarsley chopped toasted almonds
1/2 tsp. anise seed

Melted butter

5 colored raw eggs


1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Colored sprinkles

In electric mixer bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Heat milk and butter in small saucepan over low heat until warm (110 F). Gradually add to dry ingredients. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping sides and bottom of bowl occasionally.

Add 2 eggs and 1/2 cup flour (or enough to make a thick batter). Beat at high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Gradually stir in enough additional flour to make soft dough that comes clean from sides of bowl.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface, kneading until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (6 minutes with dough hook). If necessary add additional flour to eliminate stickiness. Place in oiled bowl, turning to coat top. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel wrung out in hot water and allow to rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Combine fruits, nuts and anise seed. Punch dough down and turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead in fruit mixture. This will be a sticky process. Keep fruit mixture powdered with flour until pieces are worked into dough. Divide dough in half. Roll each piece into 24" rope. Twist ropes together loosely and form into ring on oiled baking sheet, pinching ends together. Brush with melted butter.

Carefully make nesting place for each colored raw egg by spreading ropes apart and pushing eggs down into dough as far as possible for the best result.

Cover dough with waxed paper. Allow to rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake about 30 to 35 minutes, or until wood pick comes out clean and dry. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire rack.

Combine frosting ingredients. When bread is cool, carefuly drizzle frosting over twist and between eggs. Decorate with colored sprinkles.

Bread may be frozen and decorated after defrosting.

Chiffy note: I have made a batch of this dough and formed single egg breads instead of a larger loaf - I've also formed this quantity of dough into a cross using less colored eggs.
Joined Aug 29, 2000
Can someone explain why the raw eggs don't burst in the oven? Does the dough protect them from drastic temperature changes? I've enjoyed the Greek Easter breads when neighbors made them. I seem to remember red-dyed eggs in those.

I just keep thinking of what happens at Passover when we need a roasted egg for the seder plate. Granted, we usually use a boiled egg for that, but if you don't tap it on the counter first, BOOM and a very stinky mess. This I know from hard experience. :eek:
Joined Nov 29, 2001
The dough around the eggs makes great insulation. The entire surface of the egg isn't exposed to the oven heat. The scientific explanation? I have no idea...LOL.
Joined Jan 11, 2002
In Italy, "Ciambellone" or "Ciambella" is a very generic term that indicates any ring-shaped cake made of leavened dough. Since the most common recipes call for baking powder and not for active yeast, I can't say which could be the yours. I'll look for it in my books!
As for Easter Ciambella containing whole eggs, it's also very popular in Italy, mainly in Southern Italy where it's called "Cuddura"...a name (and, suppose, a dish) just coming from Greece.

In any case, since my family comes from Lombardia also my favourite ciambella is from Lombardia! Even if it's made with baking powder, I'll give you the recipe:)
Directly from my childhood memories,


-200 grams flour
-150 grams cornflour
-150 gr sugar
-150 gr butter
-3 large eggs
-1 pkg baking powder
-grated rind of 1 large lemon
-sugar grains (I'm not sure about that. In Italian it's "granella di zucchero")

Work the sugar and butter to a cream. Add the egg yolks and beat until fluffy. Gradually incorporate the flour, cornflour, baking powder and lemon rind and mix until smooth. Finally add the whisked egg whites. Pour in a buttered ring-shaped mold, sprinkle with granella di zucchero and bake at 350° for 45-50 mins or until golden on top.

Joined Aug 29, 2000
Maybe the granella di zucchero is turbinado sugar?? :confused: Big, crunchy crystals. Or is it the pearl sugar, which I know Scandinavians use?
Joined Jan 11, 2002

Granella di zucchero are rough, crunchy, cocoon-shaped sugar crystals, about 1/5 inch of size. I suppose they must contain some starch as they don't melt or burn during baking. They're very popular in Italian pastry, in example they're often scattered on Colomba Pasquale.

Could they be "turbinado sugar"?

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