The Fresh Loaf

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Panettone that's not too dense?

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hefetc's picture
hefetc

Panettone that's not too dense?

I was reading PMcCool's panettone post from last year and thought it might be seasonally appropriate to revive the subject of natural yeast panettone.

I've made panettone for several years now (never before from natural yeast) and it generally turns out a little denser than it seems like is traditional. I mean, it always tastes fantastic... hard to go wrong with all that egg and butter. And I add some rum to the fruit, which is yummy.

I agree with PMcCool that the fat and all that fruit (and I think, in my case, the _wet_ fruit, because of all that yummy rum) definitely weighs it down.

I'm going to experiment this year with dry fruit (finding somewhere else in the procedure to add the rum, which my family loves).

And I've been eyeing the pandoro recipe in Maggie Glezer's Artisan Baking (I've requested my sister bring me some for... um... research... she lives in Brooklyn). I'm going to attempt to maybe follow that procedure, but add the fruit in.

Has anyone tried that Pandoro recipe from Maggie Glezer? Am I asking for trouble if I try to add fruit to it? Maybe I should just follow the procedure it describes (to get the airyness and height) and use the high gluten flour and SAF Gold it suggests (both of which apparently give it the strength to overcome all that extra weight) but use the somewhat less rich (ha!) proportions of butter and egg (like maybe something closer to Peter Reinhart's) to compensate for the extra fruit.

 

pjkobulnicky's picture
pjkobulnicky

I made it with fruit and rum ... it was good.  I have, however, switched over to the recipe in The Italian Baker and i have no hesitancy in using as much yeast as the recipe calls for.  My only objection to yeast is that i don't like the taste of it ... but in a panettone or pandoro, who would notice it???

My baker son did advise me that my wet citron (from the rum) was causing the final dough to not bake as it should. He recommends a very light soak of the dried fruit in the rum. 

 

Paul Kobulnicky

Baking in Ohio

Woods's picture
Woods

Hello,  I'm not sure why your rum soaked citron would affect the baking.  Excess ETOH mitigates yeast activity but it takes allot more that what you would use soak it with.  How did it "not bake as it should" ?  I make the panettone from The Italian Baker.  It calls for quite a bit of yeast but you don't taste it.  I also add more rum than called for and it bakes up very well. 

Woods in DC

hefetc's picture
hefetc

Interesting. What I observed with a couple variant recipes over several years was that the dough was happy and active during the bulk rise before the fruit had been added. But after the fruit went in there wasn't much further activity during the second/proof, or much oven spring. Like I said, really, really tasty, but denser and cakey-er than I was looking for. I'm aiming for something a little airy-er, with some ropy pull.

I think in my case, the culprit with the fruit may be more the heavy syrup that the cherries come in (greek candied cherries... we like Sarantis) than the rum the fruit soaks in. I mean, I don't add extra syrup, but I haven't been making much of an effort to remove it from the cherries... just kind of scoop them out of the jar and add them in. It noticably changes the texture of the dough...

I notice that Carol Field instructs us to soak the raisins, but then drain them and pat them dry, and then dust all the fruit with flour. 

So, even though the alcohol may not be enough to do it on its own, anecdotally it seems like the excess sugar, in partnership with the rum, is knocking the yeast on its microorganismic butt. (I know my uncle always says to avoid the sweet stuff, cause it makes the hangover worse...).

 

hefetc's picture
hefetc

Awesome... just the info I was looking for. So the Italian Baker recipe really did work better in the end? Do you use any natural yeast or do you just say the heck with it and let the commercial yeast do all the heavy lifting?

Also as I suspected about the wet fruit... a light soak is ok? I was thinking about adding the rum to the liquid in an earlier step, and going as far as to dry out all my fruit (I like the greek cherries that come in syrup) on a baking sheet or something overnight. Is that overkill? (Maybe still rinse and dry out the cherries, since that syrup can be heavy, and then just a little soaking rum.)

What did you think about the high-protien flour used in the pandoro recipe?

 

Woods's picture
Woods

I think you are both right about the too wet dough.  With all the fruit and moisture it may be more than the yeast can handle?  The recipe should, however, take that into account.  Not my experience but I can see how it would happen.  A tall container makes potentially for an airier (sp?) panettone.  Using fresh yeast at home is a pain and it adds nothing.  I use always in Denmark when I visit my step daughter but its very fresh and vailable in the grocery store there.

GrapevineTXoldaccount's picture
GrapevineTXolda...

We will be traveling the week of Christmas.  I'd like to bake my first-ever, Panetonne, but I'm not sure how to store it to keep it fresh.  Can I bake this a week ahead, two weeks? 

 Can it be cured with rum or brandy, wrapped in cheesecloth and stored in an airtight tin?  Will it keep at room temp, or does it need to be kept refrigerated due to the egg content? 

 I see these cakes for sale in the stores and I wonder, how do they maintain freshness?

 Thank you!

hefetc's picture
hefetc

I don't think you'd want to try and soak it in rum or brandy... as you can see from the thread above, it should ideally be a light enough textured bread that soaking it wouldn't really be ideal.

We've never really had panettone survive more than 24 hours or so out of the oven, but apparently the fact that it's a very rich dough will help it last a long time. I don't know if the commercial stuff has preservatives to help it hold in addition or not. 

I think the biggest risk is getting dried out, so try to keep it airtight. DO NOT REFRIGERATE, as this will cause any bread to dry out in the space of a few hours. I've never had a problem keeping baked goods containing eggs at room temp. If you weren't traveling I'd say experiment with freezing it (which keeps bread much better than refrigeration) but travel makes that moot. I think you should probably just do your best with airtight packaging. Worst case, if you think it's too dry, you can always toast it lightly and serve it with zabaglione! Or make it into sumptuous bread pudding (multiple recipes available on the web). 

pjkobulnicky's picture
pjkobulnicky

Sorry  ... I was off line.

The over soaking of the dried fruit simply makes for damp spots in the dough around the fruit ... so you get these little gummy spots.  That's why you have to follow the instructions to soak only for a half hour or so and then pat dry with a flour dusting ... even if you wanted more rum flavoring to come through. 

As for storing ... I wrap them in celophane, store in ambient cool temps (my unheated dining room in winter is about 50F) and they are good for a week or more.  The ones you get in the store are, to my mind, dryer than I like. One of the amazing things about very highly enriched doughs is that they almost never get fatally stale. Notice that the ones you make and eat fresh have a string-cheese quality to the dough ... it pulls apart in long strands while the ones you buy in the store have a cake quality to the dough. That's the difference that affects keeping.

Paul 

 

Paul Kobulnicky

Baking in Ohio

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

Hefetc, I made panettone with a wild yeast starter plus a very small amount of SAF Gold. My fruit was pretty dry, and I do think goopy fruit would not work too well.

I don't know how you're mixing yours but one key to geting the good gluten development needed for a nice rise is to add the sugar and butter until the gluten is already well on its way to full development.

You can see my recipe here if you like.

Susanfnp

http://www.wildyeastblog.com

jkandell's picture
jkandell

I've made panettone using various recipes (Glezer, Reinhart, Clayton, Simili sisters).  I would echo Susan's emphasis on developing the gluten before adding the butter.  (I've not found the sugar hurts things.)  It sort of makes sense, since the butter is so slippery you can't really work the flour as much.  I knead in my bread machine, and when I hear the dough "slapping around" I know the gluten is really worked well, maybe 15-20 minutes.  I also recommend using "bread flour" (which is higher in gluten) for panettone for the same reason.  Again, it's really common sense: You need high gluten development because the  bread has to hold its own while rising high up like a sky scraper and holidng fruit.   My final suggestion is to make sure you give the dough enough time to proof no matter how long it takes.  With a normal loaf you can short-cut things and get a decent bread, and even "cheat" by relying on oven spring.  With Panettone you need it risen and fluffed as it goes into the oven.  I made the Simili sisters 100% sourdough version this year and let it rise 12 full hours.  It would have been decent at 6 but I wanted it to be ultra-light and fluffy, the way it's supposed to be.  Even if you use commercial yeast to speed things up, there is a range of "ok" to "really high and fluffy".   Be patient!  As long as you developed your gluten properly it will just keep rising and rising.

hefetc's picture
hefetc

Susan, you are my hero! Such a great, generous, detailed, well-illustrated account.

I put together an excel sheet that compares the bakers percentages and methods for the panettone recipes in the Italian Baker, Artisan Baking (pandoro), Bread Baker's Apprentice, and now yours. Downoladable here. Please let me know if my calculations are off. (I didn't quite know what to do with incorporating the amounts in the starter into the percentages... when I get a chance, I may correct it to include them, but since their exclusion is consistent across all the formulas, I think for now it's still useful for comparison.)

A lot of data, still working on the conclusions. The BBA recipe seems to be the outlier in terms of method and enrichment. Susan, yours is much more hydrated than the others (I feel like I must be missing liquid in the other recipes... I suppose it's in the eggs and butter).

I don't know whether I'm going to get a chance to make a test batch before Christmas... I suspect not. But I will post whatever I end up with here.

OH... ps... Susan, what kind of flour do you use? I'm very tempted to take the advice in the Artisan Baking pandoro recipe and use high-gluten flour. What do you think? 

Thanks

Helen

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

 Helen, thanks for your kind words. Note that the recipe is not really mine, I adapted it from one I learned at SFBI.

I used my regular bread flour, which is currently Giusto's Golden Haven, protein around 11-11.5% I think. Would be interesting to see what difference with high-gluten flour.

It's hard to compare dough hydrations because of the differences in starter hydration, etc. I did not use  the whole amount of water specified in the final dough. I think I'll use even less next time. My theory (unsure if correct) is less water --> better shreddability, assuming the dough is rich enough.

Susanfnp

http://www.wildyeastblog.com

jkandell's picture
jkandell

You might want to check out this "classic" recipe by the simili sisters http://ostwestwind.twoday.net/stories/4485754/

buns of steel's picture
buns of steel

"Has anyone tried that Pandoro recipe from Maggie Glezer? "

I did! It turned out fantastically well! A big hit!

Now I did change the formula slightly and used my own method.

I will post pics when I figure out how to.

I used a little more cocoa butter than the recipe, and I made sure as others have discussed, to get a beatifully glutinous dough before adding the "challenges" to it in the third dough. I also added a very tiny "sub-clinical dose" of orange oil and lemon oil, not enough to taste as lemon or orange, but just to round out the flavor a little, say 2 drops of each.

I used more starter than specified by that recipe, and balanced that with a little extra flour in the third dough to make up for the extra hydration from my starter. Like susan, I used a very tiny bit of SAF gold (I think it was 1/4 tsp). I rarely add salt until the last thing when I make bread, after the gluten is nicely worked up, then fine sea salt gets added to toughen up the gluten. So for this one, the salt went in just before the buttery mixture.

For flour I used organic all purpose, amended with a bit of gluten to increase the gluten to approximate bread flour.

Then the happy accident happened, I fell asleep on the couch with the TV on, and let it rise way too long. (I thought it was overproofed and ruined, if I was awake I would have baked it much sooner). I had used a fancy Nordicware christmas tree pan, and just made one loaf, and the dough overflowed it. I trimmed off the overflowings and made a little boule from them. The dough showed no signs of collapsing from the handling, and it held that level of proof very well, so from now on I will proof the living daylights out of pandoro.

The crumb was lovely, very light and moist, almost translucent, with a nice variation in hole size but not too extreme. It was delicious, and I will have to try to duplicate it every Christmas now. (I'm going to see if I can sneak in even a little more cocoa butter).

buns of steel's picture
buns of steel

pandoro slicepandoro slice

buns of steel's picture
buns of steel

pandoropandoro

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

That looks incredibly light and beautiful!

Susanfnp

http://www.wildyeastblog.com

buns of steel's picture
buns of steel

pandoropandoro

buns of steel's picture
buns of steel

natural yeast pandoronatural yeast pandoro

buns of steel's picture
buns of steel

Thanks Susan!   It was a happy accident and learning experience letting it proof so long by falling asleep on the couch.

 

Can anyone give their opinions as to what properties it is in the dough that would let it withstand what I would have thought was way overproofing?  Is it fatty dough/gluten development, etc...

 

 

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

I'd say it's developing the gluten to the max. Good show!

Susanfnp

http://www.wildyeastblog.com

buns of steel's picture
buns of steel

thanks Susan.  I was thinking "overproofed" is not the right word.  It really wanted that long of a rise, as the dough was still very resilient and didn't collapse at all when I trimmed off the overflowed edges.

BTW, here's my baker's breakfast of the trimmed off edges baked into a tiny loaf ;)!  I didn't rise them, just baked, as I wanted to munch on those scraps asap.

pandoro scraps for breakfastpandoro scraps for breakfast

dellapace's picture
dellapace

Well, I'm about five years late on this panettone thread.  

I haven't made panettone for going on seven years, but then I made it several times, using Carol Field's Italian Baker recipe.  I liked the results back then.  I used packaged not rapid yeast and unbleached flour, raisins soaked in marsala and patted down and floured, and my own candied orange peel slivered.  At some point I bought a set of Pandoro pans from Sur la Table, and they worked fine.

I'm working up to doing this again and signed up here because I already read and like the site and want to ask about do's and don'ts of storing fresh panettone. Guessing - cool per Field's instructions, maybe wrap with parchment paper?, store in foil and then either thick plastic or what?  I don't want it to dry out and I don't want it to get moldy, etc.

Having read the thread just now, I'll switch to bread flour while I'm at it.