Thursday, December 27, 2012

December 2012 Daring Bakers' Challenge: Panettone

The December 2012 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by the talented Marcellina of Marcellina in
Cucina. Marcellina challenged us to create our own custom Panettone, a traditional Italian holiday bread!

Panettone with Kahlua soaked raisins and miniature chocolate chips.

I must admit, the idea of making a Christmas bread in December sounded perfect for my first Daring Bakers' Challenge.  And it scared me.  In my personal experience, my first attempt at baking bread is a disaster.  My second or third attempt (should I prove to be so ambitious) usually turns out much better.  This bread sounded complex for a novice baker, like myself.  However, I decided to give it a try!

The following recipe was slightly adapted from The Italian Baker by Carol Field.  (It looks like there is an updated and revised copy of this book available, too.)  The Almond Glaze recipe is slightly adapted from La Cucina Italiana.  I am not a big fan of candied orange peel, and I could not find any citrone.  So, I made a few changes.  The recipe makes two "loaves" of bread.  I had two ideas for fillings.  Rather than try to decide between them, I opted to try them both.

I thought I would be mixing the bread by hand.  However, as I prepared to begin, my wonderful husband asked me if I would like to open a Christmas gift a little early.  I have been saving for a KitchenAid Mixer for quite some time, and I guessed (correctly) that may be the gift in question and the reason he was asking me about opening a present two days early.  It is safe to say, I had a fantastic time making Panettone!

* Small bowl (for sponge and soaking raisins)
* Spoon
* Stand Mixer with paddle and dough hook OR wooden spoon, medium large bowl and arm strength
* Measuring cups and spoons
* Plastic wrap
* Large bowl for dough to rise
* Paper towels to dry the raisins
* Grater
* Medium bowl for mixing filling
* Panettone papers (or parchment paper and a stapler - directions below)
* Food processor and spoon for Almond Glaze

Makes 2 Pannotoni


1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour

First Dough:
1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
3 Tbsp warm water
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

Second Dough
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon essence/extract (I substituted an additional tsp of vanilla)
1 tsp orange essence/extract
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus up to 2/3 cup for kneading

Filling and Final Dough:
1 1/2 cups golden raisins or golden sultanas
1/2 cup candied citron (I used 1/4 cup white chocolate chips in filling #1 and 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips in filling #2.) 
1/2 cup candied orange peel (I used 1/4 cup dried cranberries in filling #1 and 1/4 cup golden raisins in filling #2)
Grated zest of 1 orange (I zested 2 mandarin oranges for filling #1)
Grated zest of 1 lemon (I did not use this)
2-3 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
(Optional ideas - I made two fillings and used Orange Liqueur in one and Kahlua in the other.)

Almond Glaze - see below 

Panettone sponge

1. Mix the yeast and water in a small bowl and allow to stand until creamyAbout 10 minutes or so.  (Our house was a little chilly, so mine took about 15 minutes.)
2. Mix in the flour.
3. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to stand until doubles in size.  About 20-30 minutes.  (Mine took 35 minutes.)
4. I took the butter, eggs, and 2 1/4 tsp yeast out of the refrigerator so they would be at room temperature when I was ready  to make the First Dough.
Sponge doubled in size


By Hand:
1. Mix the yeast and water in a large bowl and allow to stand until creamy. Again, about 10 minutes or so.
2. Mix in the sponge and beat well with a wooden spoon.
3. Stir in the eggs, flour and sugar.
4. Mix the butter in well.
4. This should only take about 5-6 minutes.
6. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to double in size, about 1 - 1 1/4 hours.

By Mixer:
1. In the mixer bowl, mix together the yeast and water and allow to stand until creamy.  Again, about 10 minutes or so.
2. With the paddle attached, mix in the sponge, eggs, flour and sugar. (I would add each separately.)
3. Add in the butter and mix for 3 minutes until the dough is smooth and even.  (I cut the butter into small cubes before adding it to the bowl.)
4. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to double in size, about 1 - 1 1/4 hours.
5. (I set the timer for about 30 minutes and then took 1 cup of butter out to bring it to room temperature for the second dough.)
First dough doubled

 By Hand:
1. Be sure to have your dough in a large bowl.
2. With a wooden spoon, mix in eggs, egg yolk, sugar, honey, vanilla, essences/extracts and salt.
3. Mix in the butter.
4. Then add the flour.  Stir until smooth.
5. At this stage the dough will seem a little too soft, like cookie dough.
6. Turn it out and knead it on a well-floured surface until it sort of holds its shape.  Don't knead in too much flour, but you may need as much as 2/3 cup.  Be careful.  The excess flour will affect the finished product.
By Mixer:
1. With the paddle, thoroughly mix in the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, honey, vanilla, essences/extracts, and salt. (Again, I would add each separately.)
2. Mix in the butter until smooth.
3. Add the flour and slowly incorporate.
4. At this stage the dough will seem a little too soft, like cookie dough.
5. Replace the paddle with the dough hook and knead for about 2 minutes. 
6. Turn out the dough and knead it on a well-floured surface until it sort of holds its shape.
7. Don't knead in too much flour, but you may need as much as 2/3 cup.  Be careful.  The excess flour will affect the finished product.
Second dough ready for its first rise.

1. Oil a large bowl lightly, plop in your dough and cover with plastic wrap.
2. Now, let it rise until it has tripled in size.  There are a few ways to go about this.
  * Rise in a warm place for 2-4 hours.
  * OR find a cool spot (64 - 68 degrees Fahrenheit) and rise overnight. (I chose this method.)
  * OR rise for 2 hours in your kitchen and then slow the rise down and place in the refrigerator overnight.  If you do this it will take some time to wake up the next morning.   
NOTE:  I left my dough overnight at 64-68 degrees.  It began this rise at about 8 p.m. on December 23rd, and had tripled in size by 4 p.m. on December 24th.  So, it took some time - even being near the fireplace for a while on the 24th.  (The refrigerator method could take even longer for the dough to "wake up.")  
Second dough tripled in size.
1. Soak the raisin/sultanas in water 30 minutes before the end of the first rise.  (NOTE: I soaked half of the raisins in Monarch Grand Monarch Brandy and Orange Liqueur for Filling #1, and the other half in Kahlua French Vanilla flavored Rum and Coffee Liqueur for Filling #2.)  Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
 2. Now take your dough and cut it in half.  Remember we are making two panettoni.3. Combine all of your filling ingredients and mix well.
     *Filling #1: 1/4 cup white chocolate chips, 1/4 cup dried cranberries, zest from 2 Cutie (very small) mandarin oranges, and 3/4 cup golden raisins that were soaked in orange liqueur.
     *Filling #2: 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, 1/4 cup golden raisins, and 3/4 cup golden raisins soaked in French Vanilla Kahlua. 
Filling 1: Orange liqueur soaked golden raisins, white chocolate chips, mandarin orange zest, and dried cranberries.

Filling 2: French Vanilla Kahlua soaked golden raisins and miniature chocolate chips.
 4. Press out one portion of dough into an oval shape.
Panettone dough pushed into an oval shape.
 5. Sprinkle over one quarter of the filling and roll the dough into a log. (I used half of Filling #1.)
6. Press out again into and an oval shape and sprinkle over another quarter of the filling.  (I used the second half of Filling #1.)
Panettone dough with two layers of filling added.
7. Roll into a log shape again.
8. Repeat with second portion of dough.  (And second filling if you are using two, as I did.)
They were not the same size, but they were rolled into balls afterward...

9. Shape each into a ball and slip into your prepared panettone papers or homemade panettone papers.   
Panettone dough in homemade panettone papers.  (Can you guess which one I made first?!)
  10. Cut an X into the top of each panettone and allow to double in size.
11. Rising time will vary according to methond of first rise.  If it has been in the refrigerator, it could take 4 hours or more.  If it has been rising in the kitchen in a warm place, it should be doubled in about 2 hours.  (Mine took a little over 4 hours.)
12. Prepare Almond Glaze during this time - read directions for this early!  You actually add the glaze during the rising process and before the bread is baked.  (I oopsed here, so my Panettone did not include the almond glaze.)
1. When you think your dough has only about 30 minutes left to rise, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and adjust your oven racks (allowing room for the bread to rise.)
2. Just before baking, carefully (don't deflate it!) cut the X into the dough again and place in a knob of butter (a Google search indicated a "knob" of butter = a walnut sized lump of butter.) 
2 panettoni ready to bake

NOTE: If using Almond Glaze, it should be added prior to baking. 
3. Place your panettoni in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
4. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake another 10 minutes.
5. Reduce the heat again to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 30 minutes, until the tops are well browned and a skewer inserted into the panettone comes out clean.
Fresh out of the oven
6. Cooling your panettone is also important.  If you have used papers (commercial or homemade) lie your panettoni on their sides, cushioned rolled up paper towels.  Turn gently as they cool. (I removed mine from the papers and cooled them on their side on a wire rack.  I attempted to roll them, but they began to split in the middle, so I left them on one side.  The rack allowed all sides to cool without moisture gathering beneath and making the bread soggy.)
7. Panettone can also be cooled suspended.  First, you need to use papers.  Insert clean knitting needles (or skewers) into the bottom of the panettone in an X shape.  Flip over and support the knitting needles on hte edges of a large saucepan with the panettone suspended within the saucepan.
Almond Glaze for Panettone: 
NOTE: I oopsed and did not use this glaze.

1 cup (140 gm) (5 oz) whole blanched almonds
1 cup (125 gm) (4 ½ oz) confectioners' (icing) sugar
2 tablespoons (18 gm) (2/3 oz) whole wheat flour
3 large egg whites
3 tablespoons (45 ml) good quality extra virgin olive oil
Few drops of almond essence, to your taste
Pearl sugar, flaked almonds or demerara (course crystal) sugar to decorate

During the final rise, prepare the almond glaze. Process almond, confectioners’ sugar and flour until the nuts are finely chopped and well blended. Mix in the egg whites, oil and essence. Process to combine. It is meant to be thick and glue like. All is well! When the panettoni are well risen carefully spread half the mixture over the top. Don’t worry about spreading it to the edges, in fact keep well away from the edges because the glaze will melt and spread. Bake as per the panettone recipe above.

Freezing/Storage Instructions/Tips: 
Once your panettone is thoroughly cooled, place in a large plastic bag or container and it will keep quite well maybe for a week. At first the panettone is soft and tender but after a day or two it becomes dry like the commercial variety. The glaze will keep the panettone a bit more moist. 

Mine was (mostly) devoured on Christmas, so I did not freeze it.  I have read it makes excellent French Toast.  I may try this out with the bit of bread remaining.

Making Homemade Panettone Papers:
Additional Information: Video on making Panettone
How to make homemade Panettone papers:

Cut 6 long strips on baking parchment and arrange in a star pattern on a baking parchment lined oven tray. Staple the middle.

Place the Panettone dough in the middle. 

Wrap strips around the dough. (I forgot to photograph this step.)
Make a collar out of baking parchment using a cake pan or saucepan to give the shape and staple in place. 

Remove the collar from the cake pan and slip over the dough. Attach the strips of paper which cover the dough to the collar with staples.

It looks rough but it works. The toughest part for me was slipping the collar over the dough.  What worked best (and helped my second Panettone look much prettier) was lifting the dough by lifting all of the strips, holding the dough from the bottom, and gently squeezing it from the bottom up until it would slide right down into the collar.  Then I stapled the strips to the collar, arranged the loaves on a baking stone, and baked them.

Bake as directed without removing from the oven tray. 
My first attempts at Panettoni.  They were a HUGE hit with the family at Christmas.

Because I forgot the glaze, I made two small amounts of powdered sugar icing and drizzled it over the tops.  For each bread, I mixed 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/8 tsp. of the liqueur used in the bread, and 1/2 Tbsp. almond milk (in place of milk.)

As for my pickiest eater?  He did not care for the Panettone made with the Kahlua filling, but he liked the orange cranberry white chocolate version - which seemed to be the general consensus.  Next time, I will make both with that filling.

I would love to thank Marcellina for this challenge.  I know this recipe would have intimidated me, had I seen it in a cookbook.  It was time consuming (mostly waiting for the dough to rise), but really not difficult.  And it was SOOOO good!



Bourbonnatrix said...

good job on the challenge and welcome to the DBs! both your fillings sound great! i'm sure your panettone was awesome!

Marcellina said...

I am so glad your took on the challenge especially with your new Kitchen Aid to play with. Your panettoni are wonderful! My warmest wishes.

shelley c. said...

First of all, welcome to DB!! Second of all, HOORAY for your new KitchenAid! I love mine :) And finally, and most importantly, AWESOME job on the challenge!! Both of your panettones look amazing. Great work!

Renee said...

Thank you! I thought I would use the white chocolate cranberry filling for both next time. Then I read your blog. Toffee sounds amazing.

Renee said...

Thank you! Your challenge was AMAZING!

Renee said...

Thank you! I LOVED using the KitchenAid for this (and all of my other holiday goodies)! I love the tropical dried fruits you used in yours. So many wonderful ideas... :)

Li said...

Hi, fellow DB newbie! Your panettone looks amazing - I especially love the idea of soaking the raisins in kahlua, and the white chocolate and cranberry filling sounds equally tempting. Also, I am so jealous of your KitchenAid!

Renee said...

Thank you! Your Panettone looked wonderful. It was a fun first challenge.

Lisa Del Villardo said...

the glaze makes the panettoni even more appetizing!!

Renee said...

Thank you. My "oops" turned out quite tasty. :)

What's for dessert? said...

Welcome to DB! Your panettone looks amazing, great job on the challenge!

Renee said...

Thank you! Yours looks great too. So do the truffles you made. Have a wonderful New Year!

Ruth Ellis said...

Looks amazing - love the addition of white chocolate chips to the filling - and that you made your own wrappers - great challenge!

Renee said...

Thank you! I love that your made yours in cupcake tins! And I think we may have to try those apple nachos. Yum!