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Panettone

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dolfs's picture
dolfs

Panettone

Inspired by Susan's account in her blog, I decided to make Panettone as presents for friends for the holidays.

PanetonnePanettone

I pretty much followed Susan's recipe. I used vanilla extract rather than vanilla beans, and I did soak the fruit in Amaretto and Rum, plenty of it. Before using I drained them and then tossed the fruit in some flour to dry it. I used half the water and it seemed the dough was way too wet. So I added about 5 good size spoons of flour. Then, in the final mixing stage, I used a tiny amount of water to get it where I thought it needed to be. Did I mention I love my new DLX mixer? This batch of 4.7 pounds of dough would have never made it through my KA mixer!

Like Susan I converted my normal stiff starter with three 50% hydration feedings in a four hour cycle. Started in the morning so pre-dough was ready for mixing around 9PM. Add 12 hours ferment and ready for production next morning. I proofed in my oven with the light on. It took about 4.5 hours. Unlike Susan's instructions I let it proof a little more in the oven, until about 1/2" under the rim. Then I glazed with the glazing from the recipe, added some blanched almonds on top and put a candied green cherry in the middle, pearl sugar around. Oven spring was incredible. Interestingly enough, I must not have put even surface tension on the dough. The decoration that was smack in the center moved outward on some breads during the oven spring. Baked 40 minutes at 350F on rack (not on stone).

I had inserted wooden skewers, as suggested before putting dough in the molds, and so immediately after baking I removed the bread to hang it upside down. The construct I came up with consisted of two plastic storage creates with some slats across them.Panettone hanging out to dryPanettone hanging out to dry

The tips of some skewers came a little close to the oven wall and smoked a little in the beginning. I considered soaking them for my next bake, but decided against that. I am afraid the moisture escaping from them might not do the bread any good. The bread was finished around 9PM and I let it hang overnight.

We tasted one this morning. I had to, honest! I never made this before and I wanted to make sure the result was OK before starting to hand these out to friends as holiday gifts.

Panettone sliced and crumbPanettone sliced and crumb 

The bread is quite delicate. I think it came out excellent and the taste was just wonderful. I either have improved my baking skills and am now able to adjust doughs based on (expected) feel, or I continue to get lucky. Most of my first time breads work out just fine. Susan's recipe and description in her blog (http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2007/12/07/panettone/) is excellent, so I am not repeating it here.

We're restraining ourselves and have half left for tomorrow. The other three went to friends this afternoon. I have another starter building and will mix pre-dough for another batch of 6 tonight.

 




--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures 

Comments

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

dolfs,

Beautiful, just beautiful!  You have achieved that "shredded" crumb texture that is characteristic of a well-made panettone.  It looks like the combination of the long proof after shaping, combined with hanging upside down during cooling, paid off.

A couple of questions if you don't mind.  First, how did the dough look or feel at the time you decided to bake?  Was it somewhat underproofed, fully proofed, or verging on over-proofed?  Second, how does the crumb of the finished bread feel?  Soft/firm, moist/dry, tender/tough? 

I'm guessing that this will be part of your Christmas repertoire from here on in.  Well done.

PMcCool

dolfs's picture
dolfs

I'm not 100% sure about the state of the proofed dough. I felt I had to bake "now" because of how high the dough had risen (1/2" under top) and how much oven spring I was expecting. Previous pictures of panettone I had seen suggest it "climbs" out of the mold, so I had to take that into account. Because of all this I never felt the need to actually poke the dough to test.

Having said that, I did touch it during glazing and decorating, and based on that I would say the dough was 80%-90% proofed. I had felt that because of the enormous amount of rising the dough needed to do, a really strong gluten development and tight "skin" on the dough ball was crucial to hold shape and contain all the gas produced (unlike Susan, I did 3 folds, again based on dough feel). As a result, before baking (and glazing) the tops had a nice dome, looked very smooth and tight. I've seen this before in other "filled" bread, but I'll mention it here: during proof the dough sometimes "expels" some of the embedded fruit. It ends up lying on top, and I remove it before baking, as the fruit will burn.

As far as crumb goes: it was very soft, but with noticeable texture, tender and moist, but not wet. I do think the key is to not over-bake these breads. I stopped at 188F. I do believe the "hanging" procedure helps keep an even, uncompressed crumb. 


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

qahtan's picture
qahtan

 

 

 Absolutelly fabulous, I have just today found your posting , As I said they are absolutelly fabulous.

                           qahtan

 

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

Dolf, these look wonderful. Lucky friends! I hope they appreciate you.

You're right on about not overbaking. 185-188F is just right. Any longer and it will be too dry. Another thing that can dry it out is using too much water (although this is a very very soft, wet dough) so it's good that you adjusted the water according to your judgment. It looks like your judgment was just right.

I'll be starting my "Italian starter" process in the morning, in preparation for baking our Christmas morning panettone on the 24th.

Happy holidays to all!

Susanfnp

http://www.wildyeastblog.com

hefetc's picture
hefetc

Hi panettone people.

 Dolfs... your bread looks beautiful!

Question... I've been doing the 4-hour feedings today for the Italian starter. My stiff starter does generally quadruple in 8 hours, but not in 4. It's maybe doubling. Is it active enough to proceed, do you think? Ordinarily I'd just do more feeding cycles, but obviously not going to work with the Christmas deadline coming up. 

Do you think the starter is strong enough to proceed if it's only doubling or so every 4 hours? 

 

dolfs's picture
dolfs

My stiff starter, based on Glezer's firm french style starter, is on a 12 hour feeding cycle when not in the fridge. I feed it 60/90/45 and it goes somewhere between triple and quadruple in that time. I always thought, based on comparison with other people's notes, that meant my starter wasn't all that great/active.

I've come to believe, however, that is not true. I have been able to make wonderful breads with it, of various sourdough kinds, without problem and with proofing times generally in line with what others see. I also seems to perform great coming out of cold storage. I keep it in my fridge (38F) for 1-2 weeks before warming it up and feeding it three times (at 12 hours) and putting it back, or using some of it. Usually even on the first feeding it acts as if it never was refrigerated.

What I have been doing lately is do the three feedings with a lower innoculation, something like 30/90/45, and that seems to perk it up quite well. For the panettone I took it out of the fridge and did three regular feedings, just so I could put it back in storage. I used the discard portion of the last feeding to do the three 4 hours cycle feedings. Those were done at: 30/30/15, 30/30/15 and the final one at 60/60/30. That last one is dictated by how much you need for the recipe. For the batch I am making today, I actually did a final of 75/80/40 (yesterday, as I mixed the pre-dough last night).

I found that in the four hours, at 85F (in the oven with light on), it had an almost identical (3x - 4x) performance as my normal 12 hours on the counter (70F). You need the higher temperature, and shorter cycle, to create a different balance in the colony so that you produce less acidity in the starter, as it will be for a sweet bread. Have you been doing this at 85F? If not, move it there asap. Read Susan's whole description, it mentions this and is quite explicit on a lot of other details. 


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

hefetc's picture
hefetc

Yes... it's at 85 or so. The second feeding was a little better than the first, and the third has been a little better than the second. I'm going to do one more feeding tonight at 11 (so 4 feedings today, 4 hours apart) and hope for the best overnight. I'm thinking about confining it to a smaller container as described in the SFBI info for overnight.

So yeah... I'm going to forge ahead! 

Thanks for posting, and for responding on Christmas Eve-Eve!

Helen 

dolfs's picture
dolfs

If you feed at 11, and then not until next morning, you will have some 8-10 hours, which is not good. Your starter will become to acidic. If you feel you have to do it, bring down your inoculation, i.e. use may be only half the amount of old starter (taking care to adjust flour/water so you still end up with the right amount).

I've found that I like to do the three feedings starting at 8 or 9AM, so feeding times become 8A, 12, 4P and then I can mix the pre-dough at 8 or 9. Add 12 hours room temperature ferment and production can start 8 or 9AM. That's what I've done twice now, and each time I've ended up baking at 8:30PM. That works well with an overnight hang/cool. If you want cool bread by Christmas morning, you no longer have that option. Perhaps set your alarm and do one more feeding in the night? Good luck and let us know how this works out. 


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

Bart's picture
Bart

Totally awesome! I am wondering, where do you get the paper that you use for the mold?  I have trouble finding the diastatic malt powder too.

 

Great result! 

dolfs's picture
dolfs

I got the paper molds at the local Sur La Table (a kitchenware/supply) store. They have them in two sizes, along with paper molds for many other bread shapes and sizes. Ideal for giveaways. The malt powder I have never found locally, so I order from KA's on-line catalogue.


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

Bart's picture
Bart

Thanks for the info!

Bart

 

hefetc's picture
hefetc

Dolfs... I thought of that... sort of. I ended up feeding it at 1, and then starting the first dough at 7. Not ideal, but the dough seems happy enough now. I guess we'll find out soon enough. (Thanks again for providing Christmas Eve support!)

I planned it so that the final 12 hour ferment happens overnight, because people like warm bread and the smell of it baking on Christmas morning. I figure I sacrifice 1 of the breads to the warm bread people, and the other 2 will be allowed to hang for longer.

Bart... the papers are available at Sur La Table. It's also possible to improvise your own, or even bake in a coffee can. My mother has also used oven-safe saucepans, as well. The only problem with those options is it's harder to rig something that will hang them upside down. The dimensions are the important part. The papers Susan specifies are 5 1/4 in in diameter and 4 in tall, and it makes 3 of them.

 

Happy Christmas, everyone! 

dolfs's picture
dolfs

Judging from the feel of mine and the delicacy of the cut product I thing that a still warm one being cut is likely to lead to structural collapse or damage. Think hard before you do this.


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

 I think if you can let it hang for at least half an hour or so it will be fine. It will probably be squishy when you cut it but should still be lovely. 

 I also think overnight final proof at room temp should be fine. If it's a little underproofed it's not the end of the world. Freshly-baked panettone on Christmas morning -- how wonderful!

Susanfnp

http://www.wildyeastblog.com

dolfs's picture
dolfs

The first dough is the one that needs the 12-hour ferment. That would have it ready around 8 tonight and you'll be finishing in the middle of the night, unless you mean to also do the second proof at room temperature, which should take overnight. With my proof at 85F taking almost 6 hours, you run the risk of being "late" so I suggest also keeping your oven light on (so that the cavity is warm) and waking up "on time". if the proof does not seem to have progressed far enough, pick it up and stick it in the oven wamed by the light to speed things up for the home stretch.

If you make sure you get the good gluten development and a relatively dry feeling dough that is quite soft, make a tight ball you will have a beautiful result and a wonderful bread. Good luck and happy holidays. 


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

Helen, I replied to your question about the starter only doubling last night, but I don't know where it went. Probably I forgot to hit "Post comment." That would be about par for what things have been like for me lately. Anyway, you've gotten it figured out by now, but I said not to worry if your starter doesn't quadruple, mine doesn't either (about doubles, I'd say).

I just finished mixing the final dough for mine. Here's a piece of unsolicited advice: do make sure you add the sugar SLOWLY. I (think) I added mine too quickly this time, and when it was all in the dough had (and I'm not kidding here) the consistency of a milkshake. And not a particularly thick one at that.

I mixed for about 20 minutes... still a milkshake. I mean nothing, nada, zip in the way of gluten development. I could hear the words of my class instructor riniging in my ears: "If you add the sugar too fast, you will be here mixing long after everyone else has gone home."

Well, it was way too late to start the whole thing over, so I decided to just stick with it, keep mixing and mixing. Lo and behold, my own little Christmas miracle: after over an hour (!) of mixing, I finally had that gluten to where it needed to be. Luckily, my mixer is a trooper. We'll see how it turns out.

Good luck with yours, Helen!

Susanfnp

http://www.wildyeastblog.com

dolfs's picture
dolfs

I found CH baker's sugar at Safeway. It is granulated sugar, but of an extremely fine grind. I use regular for the first batch, and this for the second. I suppose it might help avoid the problem you mention.

Happy holidays. 


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

I was using the superfine sugar here. I just added it too quickly. It's the sweetness that does it, not the physical crystals. Honey or other "liquid sugar" would do the same thing. Because sugar is hygroscopic, it pulls water away from the proteins, impeding gluten development. 

Susanfnp

http://www.wildyeastblog.com

dolfs's picture
dolfs

I was thinking that the crystals, like wheat bran, would cut the gluten strands. Whaddoyaknow! I had no such problems, so perhaps I over mixed before I added the sugar. I ended up with very strong gluten. I'm not worried about over mixing for this bread as it depends on the added flavors, and so oxidation of the flour will not be to much of an effect.


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

hefetc's picture
hefetc

Hey!

I did get it all figured out, fortunately, and, thanks to your recipe made truly fantastic bread, which was admired by all. As soon as I get a minute, I will record it all for posterity, including the results (with photos!) of a tasting of pandoro and panettone from Settepani (formerly Bruno's) of Artisan Baking Across America fame.

I am really glad your Christmas miracle mojo worked its magic!  There's nothing quite like that sinking "uh-oh... so that's what they were warning me about" feeling.

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

Helen, I'm happy yours was a success, can't wait to read more about it.

I'm happy to report that my mixed-forever panettone was great -- best I've made, in fact. (I attribute this to using a tad less water, not to the sugar mistake.) Thanks Dolf for your idea of hanging in the boxes -- I used a large cooler and it was perfect for three loaves. Thus I could keep the chair contraption off the dining room table, allowing us to eat Christmas Eve dinner on it. 

Susanfnp

http://www.wildyeastblog.com

dolfs's picture
dolfs

I made two batches. The first (4 loaves) is the one I posted about and is also the one that had the best results. The second batch (6 loaves) was slightly wetter and, while the result was perfectly edible and loved by all recipients, it was not as light and good as the first batch.


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

ejm's picture
ejm

Beautiful!! I too was going to make panettone after seeing Susan's entry but got bogged down with too much cookie making (can there be too many cookies? ;-)) Now you too have inspired me again and I vow that I will do this by Easter!

Bart, I have found malt powder at our health food store. I believe it is also sold at the bulk food store at Leslie and the Lakeshore (for anyone in the Toronto area)

-Elizabeth

P.S. Has anyone in Toronto seen the paper for shaping and/or have any of you constructed their own pannetone papers out of parchment paper?

hefetc's picture
hefetc

I finally got around to debriefing. Hopefully it will be useful to someone for next year.

http://helenskitchen.blogspot.com/2008/01/adventures-in-panettone.html

Thanks again for all your help, everyone!

risingcrust's picture
risingcrust

Hi Dolf, this is truly an inspiration, thank you for sharing your experience with this bread, if I can't find the paper mold can I bake it in a metal mold or a coffe can?