The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cresci Panettone Paradiso :)

hkooreman's picture

Cresci Panettone Paradiso :)

After two failed attempts and a third where I nearly had success but had my panettone break apart when flipped upside down, I finally managed to successfully complete Panattone Paradiso from Iginio Massari's  Cresci book.  Michael Wilson has discussed this recipe previously and got me obsessed with it.  I probably could have let mine rise a little longer than I did but I was paranoid that it might spill over in the oven. The dough rose on schedule (both the first and second rise) which shocked me as I usually have to wait nearly twice as long for things to work.  My pasta madre starter must finally be strong enough.  The combination of honey, walnuts, chocolate, and raisins along with some fiore de scilia and real vanilla bean flavor is really, really good.  The 8 oz of butter (200 grams) for just 1 panettone doesn't hurt anything either.  I'm still learning so my outcome was not as spectacular as Michael's; however, it was a pretty good bake overall.  At least I ended up with a final dough that was reasonably workable.  The only trick I haven't figured out with panettone is how to get a dough that is firm enough to be scored prior to baking.  I just like putting in the pat of butter rather than adding the glaze. Every attempt at panettone I have EVER tried has ended up with a final dough that has a lot of gluten development but is also very loose, sticky, hard to shape, and impossible to score with a knife or lame. I do not know what the missing variable is, assuming there is one.  My hunch is that I am either under mixing the final dough, although I get an amazing window pane that when pulled looks like a latex glove, or perhaps I am over mixing it, or perhaps it is our U.S. flour and I need to order some imported Italian flour. If anyone has thoughts on where I need to improve they would be appreciated.

I was too eager to cut it up and try it to remember to take a picture of the finished item; however, I will try and post a crumb shot.  Oh, I followed the recipe that Michael Wilson posted on here not too long ago and the amount (approximately 1100 grams) was perfect for making one panettone to fit the size of a King Arthur Flour panettone paper.

nicodvb's picture


folding the dough every 30 minutes during the final rise for 3-4 times will make the dough stronger, more consistent and easier to score, but if you want an even easier scoring let the dough rise uncovered during the last hour, when it's approaching the rim for the mold. It will create a tougher skin that is even easier to score. Yes, I know that folds are not expected, but the trick works wonderfully. You can slightly grease hands and counter to fold the dough without sticking.

Moreover there's a trick that all pastry chefs use secretly: the dough is keps in the fridge at 4°C for 1 hour when it's risen, than scored and immediately baked.


Please, don't even think to import an italian flour for a challenge like that! We import flour from US and Canada for the very same purpose:-). Italian wheats just suck, so much that quality flours are milled from  selected foreign wheats.

mwilson's picture

Hi. well done on making the paradiso.

Nico offers some good advice although I don't believe folding or refrigeration is necessary. Correct fermentation and mixing will give you the right results. I've never had problems with scoring the dough. As the final dough ferments the acidity increases and makes the the dough more taut. It may start out fairly flat in the bottom of the mould but it will dome as it proves. Don't forget that final dough is usually bulk fermented / rested for an hour before rounding and moulding.

It's very likely that your're not mixing enough. Does your dough clean the bowl?

hkooreman's picture

As far as whether my dough cleans the bowl or not, that's a little difficult to say. My old Kitchen Aid mixer gave out so I replaced it with a pre-owned Electrolux.  I use the dough hook for all the mixing and kneading but the kneading action is quite different from my Kitchen Aid.  The dough seems to mass quite well on the hook, but since I'm not an expert with this machine yet, I don't know whether the gluten has developed to the point of cleaning the bowl as it used to in my Kitchen Aid.  Perhaps I need to mix it longer. Would this longer mixing be for both the first and second dough and would it be before or after adding the butter? When I knead the first dough, I usually let the machine run till I get a good window pane (like for brioche) then add the butter and let it mix in.  For the second dough, I again make sure I have a good, well-developed window pane before adding the butter and then letting that mix in completely.  Maybe my mixing process is flawed.

I also did not know about the time table for resting prior to forming.  I was just letting it sit for 30 minutes before trying to round it and placing it in the mold.