Saturday, November 26, 2011

KBB # 26 Panettone (traditional Italian christmas bread)

After 3 weeks vacation, now it's time to retrieve the baking mood. Ha..ha.. but don't think too long...the time is ticking, it's getting closer to the reporting deadline...

The challenge this month is the Italian bread, panettone precisely, bread typical Christmas dish.






I remember once bought Pannetone before Christmas two years ago at Sultan Al Kout (grocery store). At the time, I was interested by its unique packing. This bread only appears during Christmas. It tastes like a rich fruit cake. This the Panettone I bought looks like:



(Image: from Bauli)

Panettone is considered as rich yeast dough, means containing quite a lot fat, sugar, eggs. When compared with ordinary bread, panettone will taste more tender, just like Brioche.


Panettone (traditional Italian christmas bread)
Source: The Worldwide Gourmet

Ingredients
- 1 1/2 cakes of fresh baker's yeast (My note: 1 cake = 1 sachet or 7 gram instant dry yeast, source: Joy of Cooking book)
- 65 ml (1/4 cup) sugar
- 6 tbsp. warm water (I use fresh milk)
- 6 egg yolks
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- A pinch of salt
- 500-750 ml (2-3 cups) flour (I use bread flour)
- 100 ml (6 tbsp.) diced candied peel (I use mix fruit)
- 100 g (6 tbsp.) + 2 tbsp.butter
- 4 tbsp. sultanas
- 4 tbsp. currants (I use dry cranberry)
- 1 tsp. vanilla

Method
Sprinkle 1 tbsp. granulated sugar and the yeast over the warm milk and let sit 3 minutes; mix and let rest in a warm draft-free place (e.g., a warm oven that has been turned off) until the mixture has doubled in volume, approximately 5 minutes;

Pour the mixture into a bowl, add in the egg yolks, vanilla, lemon zest, salt and remaining sugar;

Gradually mix in 500 ml (2 c.) of the flour by hand until a smooth consistency is attained - the dough should easily come together into a ball;

Gradually add the butter cut into small dice and beat until the dough becomes smoother and more elastic;

Add 125 to 250 ml (1/2 to 1 c.) more flour until the dough is firm and silky but not sticky;

Place the ball onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes. When the dough is smooth and shiny, place into a buttered bowl; dust lightly with flour, cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm draft-free place for about 45 minutes until doubled in volume;

Punch down the dough firmly with your fist and flatten it out in the bowl; add the candied lemon peel, raisins and currants and knead until well distributed but without working the dough more than necessary;

Line a large bread pan with brown paper that has been well buttered on both sides; place the dough in the pan and trace a cross on top;

Cover with buttered paper and let rise again in a warm place for 15 minutes;
remove the paper from the top; brush the top with softened butter.

Baking
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400° F);
place the bread pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 10 minutes;

Reduce the oven temperature to 160° C (350° F) and continue baking for another 30 to 40 minutes, brushing again with melted butter; the bread is done when the surface is golden and crispy;

Remove from the oven; remove the paper and let cool for 15 minutes before unmolding.





This how fresh Panettone looks after come out from the oven..



My note about Panettone making:
- I mixed sultanas, dry fruit, dry cranberries, marinate them with lemon Zest and heated orange juice. Once cool, cover and leave overnight in the refrigerator, then drained. This makes the bread more moist. (Reff: Professional Baking, Wayne Gisslen, p. 192)
- Do not add all the 3 cups wheat flour. For first stage, just add 2 cups. During kneading, add more flour little by little until the dough not sticky anymore. At the begining, I use heavy duty mixer, then countinue with hand until I got elastic dough.
- For me, the this panetone has less sweet, less spice taste. It need to be added with more lemon Zest to balance the 6 egg yolks.

Now, the beautiful Panettone is ready being wrapped for Christmas gift...