Italian Grape Must Donuts are a simple slightly sweet baked yeast dough. Made with pure grape juice and the addition of raisins makes these the perfect breakfast or snack sweet treat. The perfect Italian way to welcome Fall.
This year after a break of a few years, a couple of my husband’s friends talked him into making his much sought after homemade wine again. So we decided if he was making wine how about I make a few ciambelle al mosto? I couldn’t decide whether to make white or red must donuts, so I divided the recipe in half and made both, but you can do just one type if you want. These are a soft slightly sweet donut which is similar to a brioche dough.
How to make them
In a small bowl whisk together the lukewarm milk, sugar and must, sprinkle the yeast on top, cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
In the stand up mixer add the flour, sugar, egg yolk, vegetable oil and a pinch of salt. Start to knead and add the must mixture a little at a time until just combined. Cover the bowl and let rest.
Knead the dough again and in the last minute add the raisins, knead to combine. Cover the bowl and let rise for 2 hours or until doubled.
Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and knead a couple of times. Break off small portions of dough and form into a smooth ball, with the handle of a wooden spoon poke holes through the dough, with your fingers stretch the hole bigger. Place them on the prepared cookie sheet. Brush with a little milk, cover and let rise until doubled.
Again gently stretch the hole open, brush with milk and sprinkle with some granulated sugar. Bake in a pre-heated oven until golden. Let cool or serve warm sprinkled with icing sugar if desired.
What is Mosto/Must
Must is nothing more than the juice which is obtained from pressing the grapes which have not yet been through the fermentation process, which wine is obtained from. The must has a cloudy colour, but does change according to the variety of grapes used. It will be either white or red. But of course the colour can also depend on the quality and degree of ripeness of the grapes.
How to make Homemade Mosto/Must
An easy way to make mosto/must at home is with a Food Mill, choose either red or white wine grapes, or both like I did. Place them through the food mill, so that all you have is the juice. And there you have grape must.
Where did Ciambelle al Mosto originate?
These Italian soft yeast donuts are from the two central regions of Italy, Marche and Lazio (Castelli Romani). These very popular sweets whose origins date back to the 1600s. They are made during the grape harvest period, because of the fact that they are made with must.
How to store them
They should be stored in an airtight container and kept at room temperature, they will keep for up to 2-3 days. Although they are always best just made. They can also be frozen, wrapped well and placed in a freezer safe bag or container. They will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.
So if you are looking for something a little different to make, why not try these Italian Grape Must Donuts / Ciambelle al Mosto.
Italian Grape Must Donuts - Ciambelle al Mosto
- 3-4 tablespoons raisins
- 3 ½ tablespoons lukewarm milk (I used 2%)(100F/40C) (50 grams)
- ¼ cup + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (divided) (54 grams)
- ½ cup grape must (either red or white) (room temperature) (125 grams)
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1 large egg yolk (room temperature)
- ¼ cup vegetable oil (I used corn) (50 grams)
- 1 pinch salt
- In a small bowl add the raisins and cover with boiling water, let sit for about 10-15 minutes, then drain well. Set aside.
- In a small bowl whisk together the lukewarm milk, 1 teaspoon (4 grams) sugar and must, sprinkle the yeast on top, cover and let sit for 30 minutes, stir to combine.
- In the stand up mixer add the flour, remaining sugar, egg yolk, vegetable oil and a pinch of salt. Start to knead and then add the must mixture a little at a time until combined, approximately 1-2 minutes. Cover the mixing bowl with a clean tea towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Knead the dough again for approximately 20 minutes, the dough should be soft and compact, if it is too sticky then add a little more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, in the last minute add the raisins and knead to combine. Cover the bowl and let rise in a warm draft free area for 2 hours or until doubled in bulk.
- Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and knead a couple of times. Break off about 10 portions of the dough and form each into a smooth ball, with the handle of a wooden spoon poke holes through the dough, with your fingers stretch the hole larger. Place them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Brush each donut with a little milk, cover again and let rise in a warm draft free area for about 30-60 minutes or until the hole is almost covered over.
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C).
- Again gently stretch the hole open, brush with milk and sprinkle with some granulated sugar. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool or serve warm, dusted with powdered sugar if desired. Enjoy!
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