Last year I spent nearly 90 hours to make sourdough pandoro. Twice (one failed attempt, one delicious success). And thought it was worthwhile. I must be crazy.
This year, I spent 90 hours to make sourdough panettone. Twice (one test run, one massive batch for gifts). Still think it's fun. They are coming to take me away anytime now.
Recipe is based on foolishpoolish's wonderful creation (here), with techniques from "AB&P", Wild Yeast, etc. Two days to re-activate my starter, one more day to convert to "Italian sweet starter", 12 hours for rising first dough, 19 hours for rising final dough. Up at midnight, then 2am, to check on the dough, finally at 3:30 to start baking. Like I said, who needs sleep when it's holiday season?!
- For some reason, no one, not even one source on this whole wide web, can tell me how much dough I should put in my paper mold. Most recipes would tell me how much dough to use, but not the mold size. Some tell me the diameter of the mold, but not the height. My molds are from here, 6.75inch in diameter, 4.25inch in height, and is supposed to be for "standard size, 2lb loaf". I know 2lb is 900g roughly, but that's after baking, how much dough would that be? Finally I found answer in "AB&P", for their 5.25X3.25inch mold, they use 500g of dough, which means I need 1080g for mine. Too bad I found that AFTER my first batch, so my test loaf (950g of dough) came out a bit short, but for my real batch, I used 1050g of dough and they came out perfect (as shown in the pictures above).
- Since my husband really loved the sourdough pandoro last year, he made me a "proofing box" using insulated foam boards, a pet temperature regulator, and a light bulb. Really helpful for keeping Italian starter and proofing the loaves! EXCEPT, when the regulateor's setting was messed up and it stayed at 70F , rather than the 85F I set. Ugh, messed up my whole timing.
- All sources say to simply mix the first dough until even - no mention of developing any dough strength. However, I do find if I mix first dough with KA mixer, paddle attachement, until it clears the bowl, the final dough would be MUCH easier to mix. However since the first dough is very wet, the kneading took a while
- The mixing of the final dough was easier than last year's pandoro, could be that I have more experience this time. It was lilke liquid silk by the end, VERY STRONG liquid silk glove.
- I used glaze for the gift loaves, and the "tuck in a pat of butter" method for the test loaf, both works great.
- I had 800g of extra dough left after making the gift loaves. Don't want to use another paper mold, I dumped it in my new kugelhopf pan, it was only 1/4 full, but the amazing power of italian sourdough starter raised it just fine.
- However, I couldn't hang the Kugelhopf loaf upside down, so I just cooled it upside down on the rack, judging from the crumb, the bottom layer got compressed/squished a bit.
While the crumb of the test loaf was even and fluffy, and I expect the gift loaves to have the same crumb. Lesson: don't skip the step of hanging upside down to cool!
- It took my dough 19 hours at 85F to reach the rim of the mold (as supposed to 12hrs in the recipe), and I got awesome ovenspring, so they weren't over-proofed. I guess my starter likes to take its sweet time. And doesn't care about my sleep time.
- I have made BBA panettone before, no comparison, the flavor and velvety texture of this sourdough version is a whole new level.
- The gifts are all packed up and mailed out, the leftover loaves have been mostly devoured, now I just need to catch up on some sleep. Happy Holidays! ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
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