Makes Three 1.7 lb. (800g) or 30 Individual Panettone / 2.6 ounces each (80g). Make 4 days Ahead.
Panettone is the traditional Italian Christmas cake par excellence, and its birth is attributed to the city of Milan in the Middle Ages, although there are many legends surrounding its history. Whatever its origins, panettone is now highly regarded throughout Italy, France and the rest of the world – particularly as a gift at Christmas. Ultimately, it is baked in a 6.7x4½ inch (17x11.5cm) tall cylindrical paper mold, which gives the panettone its signature tall, round shape. You can also use a coffee can or a 7x3 inch (18x7.5cm) or individual paper molds.
The cake usually is served a day after it has been baked with coffee, tea or sweet dessert wine. Its flavor and texture also make it ideal for French toast or bread pudding.
The ideal temperature of your kitchen when making bread should be around 75/80ºF (24/27ºC).
Starter (Fermented Dough). Make a Day Ahead
0.6 cup (150ml) room temp water
4 grams active dry yeast or 8g fresh yeast
1 tsp (4g) salt
1.3 cups (200g) all-purpose flour
In a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment. Combine water and yeast first then add flour and salt. Mix in low speed for 3 minutes and 5 minutes on medium speed until smooth. Form a ball and transfer dough to a greased plastic container, cover with wrap and let rise until very puffy for about 3 hours. Punch down the dough and shape into a ball and refrigerate overnight or at least for 10 hours. Take the starter out and let sit on the counter for 2 hours before starting the panettone dough mixing process.
Marinated Dried Fruit Mixture / Make a Day Ahead
8 ounces (240g) dried raisins
6 ounces (180g) candied orange peel, diced (to order online) / or use 4 orange zests
6 ounces (180g) candied lemon peel, diced (to order online) / or use 3 lemon zests
1/3 cup (80ml) dark rum or orange juice.
2 orange and lemon zest can also be added as well as flavorings.
Combine all ingredients together and refrigerate overnight.
1 ounce / 4 packets (30g) active dry yeast* or 2 ounces (60g) fresh yeast
3 Tbsp (50ml) warm milk.
*No need to activate yeast in liquid if using instant yeast (add it directly into dry ingredients) and save milk and add it to the dough.
10 ounces (300g) starter
4.7 cups (700g) all-purpose flour
0.9 cup (190g) granulated sugar
2 vanilla beans, scrap out the seeds or 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract (optional)
1 Tbsp (14g) salt
0.8 cup (200ml) whole milk, chilled
12 egg yolks (200g), chilled
20 Tbsp (300g) unsalted butter, softened but not melted
Marinated dried fruits mixture, chilled.
Mix yeast and warm milk and let it sit for 5 minutes (it will turn into a thick paste; no need for more liquid or sugar). In a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, mix flour, vanilla, salt and sugar. Add the yeast paste, cold milk and egg yolks. Mix for 3 minutes on low speed. Add starter and mix for another 5 minutes on low speed. Stop mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a dough scraper. Increase the speed to medium and knead for 10 minutes more, scraping down the sides of the bowl as often as necessary; it prevents dough from overheating during a long kneading time. Add butter and mix on low speed for 10 minutes or until completely smooth. Add the chilled marinated dried fruits and continue mixing until just combined. Cover mixer bowl with a wet kitchen towel and let dough rise for 3 hours or until it has tripled in size*. Deflate dough over your countertop without the use if extra flour. Divide into desired sizes; large or individual or both. Shape into balls and place them into greased paper mold.
Let proof, covered for about 2 hours at 77ºF (25ºC) and bake.
*The panettone dough can also be refrigerated overnight. Once chilled transfer dough onto a lightly floured countertop, divide and form balls and let proof. The panettone takes much longer to proof that way; about 10 hours.
Egg Wash (optional)
Beat an egg with a pinch of salt.
A chunk of butter can be substituted for egg wash.
Position the rack in the lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F (180ºC) with an upside down baking tray inside. Lower temperature to 325ºF (160ºC) if using a convection oven. For a glossy finish, brush top with egg wash and carefully score the top panettone using a razor blade or a sharp knife and add a chunk of butter in the center if desired.
For individual panettone, cut top using scissors, sprinkle some pearl sugar and drizzle some egg wash to get a bursting effect.
Place large panettone on a baking tray and bake for about 35 minutes (bake no more than 2 panettone at the time).
Pierce the just-out-of-the-oven (large panettone only) with 2 large and thick bamboo skewers and hanging it upside down; it keeps the panettone from collapsing while it cools; it will take a few hours at room temperature. Better served a day after. Panettone can keep for a couple of weeks wrapped and put it in a sealed container.
Posted on 10/15/2015 at 10:28:00 AM