St. Blaise donuts / Ciambella di San Biagio

For February 3, the feast of St. Blaise, patron of throat ailments, in Abruzzo there is a tradition to prepare a traditional cake. Here the classic Aquilan recipe and a variation.
St. Blaise donut

Ingredients (for 3 donuts) - The Aquilan recipe

  • 4 eggs
  • 700 gr flour
  • 250 gr sugar
  • 1 glass of milk (180 grams)
  • 1/2 cup of oil (about 90 grams of extra virgin olive oil)
  • 200 gr raisins
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 packet of yeast
  • the seeds of a vanilla bean
  • grated rind of one lemon
  • sambuca liquor
  • 1 egg yolk, granulated sugar, candied cherries.

Preparation - The Aquilan recipe

Soak the raisins in warm water with 2-3 tablespoons sambuca. Mix the baking powder into the flour and put it aside. In a bowl put the eggs, sugar and salt and knead until mixture is frothy. Then add the grated lemon peel and the vanilla bean seeds and stir for a few seconds. Stir in the sifted flour and milk. At the end add the oil and, when completely absorbed, add the well-drained raisins.

Pour the mixture onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, and with the help of a large spoon or flat knife form a donut. The hole in the center must be large enough, about 8 cm in diameter, so it will not close completely during baking.

Brush with egg yolk mixed with a little milk, decorate with granulated sugar and candied cherries. Bake at 170 degrees C (338 Fahrenheit) for 35 minutes.

Ingredients (for 1 donut) - A Variation

  • 250 gr "00" flour
  • 250 gr. "manitoba" flour
  • 75 gr. sugar
  • 75 gr. lard (or butter)
  • 20 gr. yeast
  • 340 ml water and milk in equal parts
  • 5 gr. salt, 2 tablespoons anise seeds
  • candied cherried

Preparation - A Variation

Make a dough with all ingredients, adding butter last, and leave to rise until doubled. Then make 3 long rolls of dough and cross them as to make braids, then close into a ring.

Let the dough rest for another 30/40 minutes, then add on top of the braids small grains of sugar and candied fruit.

Bake at 170 degrees celsius (338 Fahrenheit) until beautifully colored.