Ciambelle with Fennel

Ciambelle are very chewy, fennel flavored bread rings that are wonderful as between meal snacks. Nonna Yolanda was my husband’s Grandmother, and this was the recipe she passed down to her daughter, making this a recipe typical of “la cucina della Nonna“.

This recipe is difficult to describe, but the finished product is well worth it. You end up with very chewy, fennel flavored bread rings. Initially they will be crunchy, but become more chewy after a few days. Store in an airtight container. They are great between meal snacks, or even with a glass of wine before dinner. Don’t worry about trying to get a perfect shaped ciambelle as they are rustic and look fine if they are not.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 

Ciambelle with Fennel

Ciambelle with Fennel

Yield: 4 Dozen
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

A traditional chewy bread round flavored with fennel seeds.


  • 5 Cups of Warm Water
  • 9 -10 Cups Flour (Approximately ~ Start With 9 Cups And Add More If Needed)
  • 1 Pkg. Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 Tbs. Sugar
  • 4 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbs. Salt
  • 3 Tbs. Fennel Seeds


  1. Dissolve the yeast into one cup of the water with the sugar and let sit until bubbly.
  2. Add the salt, olive oil and fennel seeds.
  3. Place 9 cups of the flour in a mound on the counter, creating a depression in the center.
  4. Slowly add the yeast water into the center mixing it into the flour with a fork.
  5. Continue to add water until you have a workable mixture. (The dough should be fairly firm at this point but still pliable.)
  6. Knead the dough until smooth, then cover with plastic, and let stand for 1 hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Cut dough into pieces, then roll out each piece into a rope, about the thickness of your finger and about 12 inches long.
  9. Form into a doughnut like shape, squeezing the ends together.
  10. Boil water in a wide pot, then drop 2 or 3 ciambelle into the water at a time.
  11. When they rise to the top, remove and place on towels to dry, about 3 minutes.
  12. Place on lightly greased baking sheets, and bake 30 to 40 minutes, or till golden brown.
  13. Remove, and cool.
  14. Store in an airtight container for up to a week, or freeze for 1 month.

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. They were delicious!!!!But I did not get 4 dozen at all.How big or small did you make them?I made them as big as I always saw them….maybe 6 to 8 in. in diameter baked,
    They were crunchy,enough salt and look beautifully rustic.
    Thank you


    1. There are only recipes because this is a recipe blog, not an online store. You should be able to find ciambelle at any Italian specialty store.

  3. But not all ciambelle are created equal, find the ones they sell to stores, just taste like bread, to soft inside and not enough flavour.

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