Adapted from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan
- 8 Tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter
- 4 cups (500 grams) all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Zest of 1 small lemon
- ¼ cup lukewarm whole or 2% milk (plus more if necessary)
- 3 large eggs
- Colored non-pareil sprinkles (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
- Melt the butter in a sauce pan over low heat then set it aside to cool to lukewarm.
- Into a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Whisk to combine.
- Add in the cooled melted butter, milk and 2 of the eggs, and use a spatula to combine the ingredients together.
- Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead it until it comes together. If the dough is still too dry, add a small splash of milk until it holds together.
- Shape the dough into a roll about 2-inches (5 cm) thick in diameter and then form it into a ring, pinching the ends together to close it.
- Make an egg wash with the last egg and 1 Tablespoon of water.
- Brush the top of the pastry ring with the egg wash. Use a sharp knife to make a few shallow, diagonal cuts into the surface of the ring.
- Transfer the pastry ring to the parchment-lined baking sheet and decorate with sprinkles (if using).
- Bake the pastry ring for 30-35 minutes, until it is golden. The pastry ring will double in size as it bakes.
- Cool the pastry ring on the baking sheet set on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then transfer the pastry ring to the cooling rack to finish cooling completely.
Storage: Store the pastry ring at room temperature on a platter covered loosely with aluminum foil or on a covered cake plate.