I first baked proper, PROPER panettone last year, with sweet starter (lievito madre) fed every 4 hours - even getting up at 4am for it - and I have to say it's a serious project. Patience, hard work, at least some bread-making skills, standing mixer (can't really imagine without it), lots of leftover egg whites, a warm place for proving, a warmer place for growing the lievito, hanging apparatus - it's a mission.
But the end result is really worth it. I made five large ones at one go last week, doubling the ingredients and I was completely exhausted afterwards. The recipe - or rather instructions! - can be found on my website: CuisineFiend's traditional panettone if anyone's interested.
How about the Anglo-Italian fusion for Easter: a combination of hot cross buns and panettone? Yes, I know, there's the properly Italian colomba di pasqua and I've made it too, but my bunettones are just a bit of fun.
I used a sourdough starter but didn't go through the faff of lievito madre, getting up at four in the morning etc., like I did back at Christmas time. Not orthodox, but ordinary, lively 100% wheat sour starter seemed to work well.
I made 11 mini ones and one large - like the 11 disciples plus Jesus symbolised by marzipan balls atop English Simnel cake... except I ran out of mini panettoncino cases and used an odd collection of paper cases and ramekins. Ah well, disciples weren't all the same were they? And yes, the picture features just the select few!
The detailed recipe and instructions are here on my blog site and all comments welcome. Purists - please don't shoot me.
It's fantastic what you can do with Tartine style sourdough - like these snakeskin seeded batons.
I've used a mix of seeded flours, some oat and barley flakes and millet grain. I stretched the fermenting over four days and the flavour certainly benefited.Here's the link to full recipe. Absolutely love the method.
I can't believe I haven't tried this before - Tartine is indeed the tastiest simple country sourdough. 'Simple' not at all in a patronising way, after all sourdough can ALWAYS go wrong for no reason, at least in my experience. Simple in the way of the three basic ingredients: flour water and salt, without seeds or whole grains or malted flakes.
My recipe is here on my website: Tartine country bread. I must admit I haven't got Robertson's book; I've swiped the method off NY Times Cooking. The one-day process is perfectly fine, with levain prepared the night before, but I've since tried it with cold autolysing overnight and cold proof over another night. I've also tried replacing the wholemeal flour in the main dough with rye. What can I say? It only gets better!
A really fascinating exercise: wild yeast water. Not sourdough, as I used the water straight up without making a flour-based pre-ferment. I've subsequently read about different applications of the water, basically to strengthen the sour starter, but I was ecstatic to see that it actually leavened the bread on its own. That's magic.
I used dried figs for this loaf but have since repeated the trick with apricots, strawberries and pinhead oats. The water takes about a week to ferment, depending on the weather, and then apply your favourite technique to it - mine was loosely interpreted Tartine. Here's the full recipe: wild yeast water bread.
It is good bread - not the top dog in flavour and crumb but I was so excited by the process that it tasted heavenly...
This is a nice little loaf, good to use the cider you've found at home and are not keen on drinking...
Cider does not this bread make - as cider, beer, ale give just very subtle flavour to the bread. But the apple chunks are interesting: you actually knead in the diced apples and it takes a bit longer than expected to incorporate the moisture.
Black treacle. Oats and barley. Sultanas. Three kinds of seed (plus caraway). Rye and white, or spelt if you'd like it gluten free. Did I mention sultanas?
The dough feels like making mud cakes. You have to wait until it's completely cold before you slice it. What can I say? It's the tastiest non-sourdough rye bread I've made and/or tasted. Link to the recipe's here.
My recent effort in defiance of the 'vegetables belong with your main course only' claim: courgette (or zucchini to many) loaf - here's the link to the detailed recipe. Sliced and cooked courgettes plus some mashed potatoes - the bread has great texture, slices well so a good sandwich loaf, and it toasts like a dream.
It is a very simple sandwich loaf, the dough proves overnight, so fairly flavoursome. It actually is a twist on one of Dan Lepard's recipes for a deli bread (here's a link to the recipe) which has cooked onions in the mix. It's excellent but quite strong on onions, so I thought I'd temper the flavour with bland courgettes. very much successful - only I underestimated the liveliness of the dough and it went to town during the final prove - hence the muffin top.
My last minute (and a first ever) attempt at pandoro: where are the raisins? :-) And of course baked in a totally unorthodox fashion in a panettone tin - didn't get hold of the star shaped one in time.
Good: no orange peel, dough doesn't ever want to collapse, divine toasted and buttered.
Time for some holiday breads and I've just tried my hand at Norway's entry to the Best Christmas Bread competition. And even though it doesn't blow you away with richness like panettone nor is as indulgent as Stollen, I must say it will be my favourite for Christmas breakfast. Toasted and buttered!
It seems quite fool proof (I've made two, with equally good results), isn't fickle about rising and proving and has the nicest cardamom flavour.
My version of the recipe is here, I owe it to having pored over several Norwegian recipe sites (thankfully the bread has only a few easy-to-decipher ingredients!). God jul!