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Panettone is a great Christmas Italian sweet bread
A hybrid between a brioche and a sweet bun. It is characterized by two main factors such as great aroma and perfumes and a lightness equal to cotton candy. These are qualities that you can find only in a Panettone and a Pandoro, it is that light that it melts in your mouth. It feels like a pillow. It is a cloud disappearing on your tongue.
This great unique dessert, that per tradition, it’s given and shared as a present during Christmas time in Italy, has its origins between two regions Lombardia and Veneto, both regions located in North of Italy. These two locations still contend their leadership for who invented the panettone, but there are historical resources, from many centuries ago, that say that this sweet bread was already baked for Popes and other kings in the late 18th century. If you would like to know more about the story of panettone here you can find 1 link, and 2 link
Time now, to start our great Recipe, get excited because this is the recipe will prove your mental strength as a sourdough baker. This preparation will play with your nerves.
THIS IS A RECIPE DEVELOPED FOR HAND MAKING. BUT STILL SUITABLE FOR MECHANIC LABOUR.
My recipe, will make your life easier. This panetone recipe, is made by hand, contrary to every other myth. Dough do not need to work a long time to develop the gluten, they do it with time, and in case of sourdough every thing works in our favour because of one main reason: the pace of fermentation of our starter.
Our starter works on a very slow pace compared to the normal baker yeast and for this reason it gives the dough time to bind naturally without risking of overworking or warming the dough to much.
Follow the steps below as close as you can, and try to understand the dough, this is a recipe that many experts could mess up, but I'm sure that if you really follow my advice, you will succeed as I did.
on Sunday (just as reference)
1 egg yolk (keep the white for the next day following step)
65 gr strong flour
35 gr water
15 gr honey
Stir everything until it is all well combined together and leave at room temperature for about 12 hours or until it shows signs of growth and fermentation. It is very important that you wait until the preferment has started because this is the beginning of your recipe and it is a very important step for succeeding with your panettone.
This is after 12 hours of proving.
At this point is Monday morning and we start the next step.
The 1 dough
300 gr milk (I’ve used coconut milk)
450 gr strong flour
1 egg white that you kept from the day before
60 gr sugar
the preferment from the day before
Put into a bowl all the liquids and mix them with a spoon, add the preferment, add the sugar and stir well. Add the strong flour and stir energetically for 1 or 2 minutes. At this point comes in place my method that I apply to all high hydrated dough, which consists in mixing them every 10 minutes for an hour (with not to much effort, when you have time as often as you can) to create a bit of nerve and help the gluten structure to develop naturally. Leave it out all day and all night, in an enviroment of about 16-20 Celsius degrees. Winter is a better season for making Panettone. In summer these times may be reduce by 3 times.
This is the dough in the morning when all the ingredient have been mixed together.
12 hours later, it should look like this.
Second last step of our dough, this is crucial to our success as every other step above. Make sure that before you start any step your dough as risen and fermented enough, you can look at the pictures for reference. A dough too far in the fermentation stages, will get you a dough more like cake batter than dough.
300 gr water
100 gr sugar
600 gr flour
160 gr melted butter
3 tbs spoon vanilla essence with seeds
5 egg yolks
20 gr salt
200 gr sultanas
30 gr candied citrus
Start always by mixing all the ingredients that are wet first, add into this mixture the vanilla essence. Add the flour salt and sugar and stir energetically for 1 minute. Add the levain from the day before and don’t be afraid of the wetness of the mixture. It is completely normal.
Next step, is to work the dough a bit, pour it onto the bench and following the stretch and fold method, that you can also watch and learn on my videos on my you tube channel healthynastikitchen tv, start developing this part of the recipe too. There is a trick in this procedure too, and if you struggling at doing SO you have 2 possibilities:
put it back into the bowl and stir it with spoon for a minutes or so, in intervals of 10 minutes.
or just leave it on the bench and do the slapping, stretching and folding in intervals too. Repeat this step as long as you can see the dough creating a bit of nerve or resistance to your work.
Grease a flat deep tray with some melted butter and oil, put the mixture on that and add the sultanas and the candied citrus. start the folding and keep the dough under a wet towel, to prevent it to dry. Fold it every 30 minutes for at least 2-4 hours or util you notice that it is starting proving.
Once the dough has reached those 5 hours you can form it into a ball with the help of a scraper. Put it into the Panettone paper mold and let it prove for about 6 hours or until it has reached roughly 2 cm from the top of the ring mold, you can score the top and either put an almond fondant or leave it plain and add some butter on top before you bake it.
I portioned mine to 1 kg and I’ve done the second and the third one of about 600 gr. I’ve baked them at a starting temperature of 230 for the first 5-6 minutes. Then I followed with 190 for about 30 minutes and continued at 170 for about 15-25 minutes. check the inside of the bread with a skewer or if you have a probe thermometer you can measure the core temperature that must be 94.
Next important step is to take it out of the oven and turn it upside down with the help of long skewers or long nails, or let your partner figure out something. Make sure you organise these tools for turning your panettone upside down, in advance. It is very important and I have never tried to change this long tradition of cooling it down in that way, I’m too scared of loosing 4 days of work and a bite of this amazing baked treat.
Cool it down for about 8-12 hours, bag it into a bag that it’s been sprayed with pure alcohol.
If you can resist from eating it, please make sure that you leave it settle in the bag for about 2-7 days.
Panettone Ready to be enjoyed.
The dreaming perfect slice
With this recipe, I said good night to you, and I would like to remind you that if you want to know all my new recipes and news about my courses or books click on my Facebook group called “Sourdough & Baking” .
With love take care
Giuseppe Joe Nasti