These savory Italian bread rings with a bite of black pepper are hiding whole almonds within. They make a terrific snack or a novel dinner accompaniment.
INGREDIENTS (for 2 servings):
- 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 7 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup almonds
In a large bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand for 5 minutes.
Add the olive oil and 4 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until well incorporated and the pepper and a more flour a little at a time until the dough is able to be kneaded.
Place dough on a floured board and add more flour. Make sure dough remains moist. It should be slightly more moist than normal bread dough. Knead dough for 5 minutes. Cover with a warm moist cloth and let rise in a warm place for about 3 hours.
Place almonds and about 2 cups of water in a small saucepan and bring almost to a boil. Let sit for 10 minutes. Drain and peel then place the almonds on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
Once dough is ready, divide it into thirds and roll each third out to 1/4 inch thick squares. Cut into 1 inch wide strips. Place about 3 or 4 almond in a row on end of the strips and fold the other end over and seal the nuts well. Twist dough together to form rings and pinch ends together. They should be about 2 to 2 1/2 inch rings. Place the rings on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake in a preheat 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for 30 minutes or until nice and brown. To make them more crispy place them in a roasting pan and return to the oven as it cools.