Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Walnut savory ring cake
( Ciambella salata alle noci )

Our original home cooking

This savory cake of mine derives from the classic ring cake (ciambella) we Italian women prepare for breakfast but in a salt version. I must say that the result is remarkable. It can accompany an assortment of cold cuts and cheeses (the classic Italian antipasto) and meat or fish dishes. It's a vegetarian recipe, ideal all year round.

difficulty: medium

time: 1h 10 minutes

calories: 242 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 12

  • 200g (7 ounces) all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • 250 (8 3/4 ounces) wholemeal emmer flour
  • 100g (3 1/2 ounces) potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 50ml (1 2/3 fluid ounces) low fat milk
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 15g (1/2 ounce) powdered emmer sourdough
  • 100g (3 1/2 ounces) shelled walnuts
  • Salt
  • Warm water
medium difficulty
preparation: 30 minutes
plus rising times
cooking: 40 minutes
total: 1h 10 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 242 (kcal) 13 % - 1005 (kJ)
Protein: 7.7 (g) 16 % GDA
Total fat: 11.2 (g) 16 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 28.0 (g) 11 % GDA
Sugars: 0.9 (g) 1 % GDA

Download free PDF version (152 download).

Recipe for savory ring cake (salt ciambella) with walnuts


  • - First rising.
    Mix 100g (3 1/2 ounces) emmer flour, 50g (1 3/4 ounce) all-purpose flour and powdered emmer sourdough.
    Add enough warm water to form a soft dough.
    80ml (2 2/3 fluid ounces) to 90ml (3 fluid ounces) water should be enough but this dose is only orientative, all depends on the kind of flours and humidity.
    Flour and place in a warm place, away from drafts.
    Less than two hours should be sufficient to double.
  • - Meanwhile steam potatoes.
  • - Second rising.
    Mix accurately the remaining two flours and place on the work surface.
    Make a very large well in the center.
    Put two abundant pinches salt, chopped walnuts, peeled and pureed potatoes and 3 tablespoons olive oil in the well.
    Heat the milk so you can place your finger without any problem. Remove the pan from the heat and beat the two eggs into the milk with the aid of a whisk.
    Pour your milk and egg mixture into the well.
    Melt your risen dough in the milk and egg mixture with your fingers.
    Then, work all the ingredients until a soft dough.
    Add other all-purpose flour if necessary.
    On the other hand. if your dough were too hard add enough warm water.
    Knead your dough for a long time until you feel the first air bubbles under your hands.
    Shape your dough into a large cylinder.
    Grease a ring mold with the remaining olive oil.
    Place your cylinder in the bottom and close its ends.
    Let your dough rise in a warm place, away from drafts.
    Okay the inside of your oven with only the pilot light on.
    Place a little bowl with water inside the oven too.
    Let rise until the dough reaches the edge of the mold if not more.


  • - Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • - Bake, about 40 minutes.
    If you see the surface becomes too colored, lower temperature to 170°C (338°F) and cover the savory cake surface with aluminum.
    But wait at least 20 minutes before opening the oven.
  • - Test the cooking with a long wooden skewer but only at the end. If your skewer comes out completely dry, your savory ring cake is ready!

Just before serving

  • - Let cool completely before transferring your savory ring cake on a serving plate and slice.
    In any case slice it just before serving.



  • - You can prepare this savory ring cake ahead, the day before.
  • - Keep it wrapped in film for a couple of days.
    For longer periods I suggest to freeze it, already portioned. Then let it thaw at room temperature. A fast passage in the oven at 90°C (194°F) will be sufficient to taste this salt cake perfectly.
  • - As I've just written I generally use powdered emmer sourdough.
    But you could use fresh yeast according to the instructions on the package depending on flour amount.
    And if you are baking lovers, work with fresh sourdough following your usual proportions.
  • - Obviously you can use only all-purpose flour.

Menu planning

  • - As I've just written I prepare my savory ring cake to accompany assorted Italian antipasto composed by cold cuts and cheese or filled vegetables.
  • - But this salt ciambella is perfect for fish or meat dishes too: stewed lamb, veal rolls, roast pork, salmon salad, ghiotta swordfish ... Links below!
  • - On other occasions, I halve the doses and let my dough rise in the plum mold. I get a very soft and fragrant leavened product, to cut into slices. Slices that, then, I use as a base for very special canapés.

Useful links for this recipe

Healthy eating

  • - Savory ciambella or savory ring cake with walnuts, as you prefer to call it, is essentially a flavored bread and so its calories, fat and carbo must not impress you. If you let it rise very well, however, portions are satisfying and satiating.
    On the contrary the more bread dough or similar doughs are compact, the more they weigh and the more they're rich in calories.
  • - It is always better to choose wholemeal flour. As you have seen in this recipe, I mix about 50% all-purpose flour with wholemeal emmer flour because that's a salt cake I usually prepare when I have guests who maybe are not used to this flavor. On the contrary when I work for my family I tend to use a minimal amount of all-purpose flour. Everyone of us should give priority to wholemeal flour in baking process for its richness in fiber.
  • - Another tip. In general, I use stone-ground flour regardless the type of flour. The resulting starch granules are bigger and then glycemic peak tends to lower :)
  • - Fiber per serving: 2.5 grams (10.9% daily intake)


What's the right wine for " Walnut savory ring cake "?

You have to match wine according to the dish to accompany. Generally white wine with fish dishes and red wine with meat recipes but it's not always true. Remember it :))