Perfect Panettone


I was first introduced to panettone in 1999 by an Italian colleague. Panettone is the most wonderful bread ever. The last 2-3 years, I made an effort to buy one to scoff over Christmas. Before you know it, the whole panettone had gone! I mean, what is there not to love? The bread is light, fluffy, lightly sweet, slightly dry and fruity. The weird thing is why do people only enjoy it over the festive season? It is such a wonderful bread, that it should be enjoyed all year around!

This year, I decided to make my own at home. Don’t ask me why, but I wanted to try. I made eight mini ones, but because finding panettone cases are pretty difficult to find, except in online shops, I made my own. The recipe came from Bernhard Clayton’s book, which has always produced great results for me. This was no exception, the panettone was delicious! I’d definitely make them again.


PERFECT PANETTONE

Makes 8 mini panettone

Adapted from “Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads”, by Bernhard Clayton


Ingredients

For the starter

  • 55 g (5 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • ½ tablespoon dried active yeast
  • 2 tablespoon warm water
  • ½ t liquid sweetener, such as honey or agave

For the remainder

  • 150 ml (2/3 c) warm milk
  • 525 g (3 ½ c) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 60 g (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 100 g (½ c) raw cane (turbinado) sugar
  • 4 tablespoons chopped mixed peel
  • 1 tablespoon chopped nuts
  • ½ T crushed aniseed
  • 50 g (1/3 c) raisins/cranberries

To dot

  • 30 g (2 tablespoons) butter


Method

1 . Make the starter, by mixing together all of the ingredients in a bowl. Cover and let sit overnight at room temperature.

2. Transfer starter dough in to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add warm milk and mix using a dough hook on slow speed.

3. Add half of the flour and salt, mix until well incorporated.

4. Add butter, yolks, egg and sugar, mix until well incorporated.

5. Gradually add the flour, whilst mixing/kneading until you get a slightly tacky dough.

6. Knead on medium speed for 8-10 minutes, then add the mixed peel, nuts, aniseed and raisins. Knead until well incorporated.

7. Cover the bowl and let rise in a warm spot for 1.5-2 hours or until double in bulk.

8. Divide the dough into 8 equal sized pieces and place into mini panettone cases. Put them onto a baking tray (sheet/pan) and cover with a damp tea (kitchen) towel and let rise for 1.5-2 hours or until double in size.

9. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 190°C (375°F).

10. Cut a cross into the tops of each panettone using a serrated knife. Place into the middle of the oven and bake for 5 minutes.

11. Pull out the tray (sheet/pan) and put a dot of butter into the middle of the cross of each panettone and return to the oven for another 20-25 minutes, or until nicely browned, and well risen.

12. Allow to cool before devouring. Enjoy!

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