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The Traditional “Ciambelle di mosto”

(sweetbread made from grape must)

After grape harvest in the autumn, the Conero Riviera smells like must, a sweet juice proceeded from freshly picked and pressed grapes. Grape must is an essential ingredient in wine making but also for delicious Marche Region sweets such as the “Ciambelle di mosto”. They are made with grape must, flour, milk and enriched with aniseed and were originally prepared in autumn by the “vergare”, matriarchs of the large peasant families for their children and husbands returning home from work in the field. This rural tradition has been passed down over time and you can still enjoy this delicious and fragrant dessert today.

During the grape harvest period, between September and October, the old town streets smell like anise and grape must. Enjoy “ciambelle di mosto” with Nutella or jam, or dunk them into “vino cotto”, a wine made by slowly cooking down the grape must to form a thick syrup.


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“CIAMBELLE DI MOSTO” RECIPE

Ingredients for yeast starter:

150ml water (at room temperature) 

100g fresh (brewer’s) yeast

150 g type 0 flour

Ingredients for donut dough:

1.5kg type 0 flour

500 ml lukewarm raw grape must

180 g sugar 

3-4 spoons  aniseed

160g extra virgin olive oil

a pinch of salt

In a big bowl mix the three ingredients to prepare the yeast starter. Cover the dough and let it rest for  half an hour. In a larger bowl mix the grape must and the starter, then add the other ingredients. Knead the dough and let rest for at least five hours. After the dough rises in the mixing bowl, divide it into four parts and shape into donuts by hand. Cover the donuts with a towel and let them rise until they are doubled in size. Bake for about twenty minutes in the oven at 180 degrees.
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