Admittedly, this sweet bread, also known as ciambella or ciambellone, is a holiday bread typically served around Easter time and typically baked into a ring and dusted with powdered sugar. As we enter a different kind of holiday season, this bread seemed perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas to me.
Even though many households will likely have limited guests this year, it’s always nice to have slices of sweet bread like this sitting on your table to welcome friends and family. Better yet, this bread can be made ahead and gifted to let neighbors or friends know you are still near even if you can’t spend the holidays together.
This holiday sweet bread is typically described as a softer version of biscotti, only slightly sweet, it’s best fresh out of the oven but stores well for longer periods. I gifted this beautiful loaf to a friend whose birthday is today. She was having a limited number of family over for dinner and I thought she would enjoy serving this with coffee.
A really simple sweet bread, don’t use a stand mixer with this one. It comes together easily by hand and resist the urge to over mix the dough, combine it just until it comes together. I even sifted the flour to give it an extra bit of tenderness. The addition of minced lemon peel along with it’s fat source of pure olive oil, this bread is fragrant and unique.
Strudel and Streusel are two friends living in different cities, sharing a love of baking (and butter) through this blog. With Streusel in Denver, and Strudel in Seattle, we've found our little site to be a great way to stay in touch, share recipes we love, and talk about experiences in our respective cities.