The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Panettone Crumb

Evrenbingol's picture

Panettone Crumb

Hi I have posted on this site before regarding a panettone and its "open" crumb. 

The picture above is my latest bake. I am really not satisfied with the crumb. I really want it to be a lot more open. 

Questions for all the bread experts out there.
1) If you develop gluten to full extend does water guarantee extensibility for panettone?
2 ) Do people autolyse panettone dough?
3) Should one use a strong flour to get the random and open crumb for a such rich dough like this.For a regular artisan sourdough at around %75-80 hydration I do not use a strong bread flour to get random and large crumbs.

4) Is using an AP flour a waste of time?

5) Do you develop the first dough to full maturity and or develop it to full maturity during the second dough?

6) Do you steam the oven and would it have a  lot of affect on a rich dough. I know how it affect say a baguette and country?


I am going to try all of these suggestions anyway to see for myself but I would like some input from the experts. 

Thank you so much?


clazar123's picture

I have a few thoughts pulled together from multiple posts that have got me thinking about pannetone. It may seem like a loosely connected train of barely related ideas because that is what it is. I hope it will lead to an "A HA" moment.

First of all is just my opinion. I think the texture of the crumb (the featheriness,if you will) is what is the most important feature of pannetone and holes should be moderate. I think your holes are absolutely fine but what is the texture like? I think texture is the key.

Which brings me to high protein flour. I usually think of high protein flour as causing chewy crumb and not much featheriness. And yet, authentic pannetone recipes specify high protein flour. Why? Keep the ideal texture of featheriness in mind. Good pannetone IS feathery but it is also a little ....spongey (best word I can think of) but not tough. Alost like a weakened form of tough or chewy high protein crumb.

Which brings me to biga. I haven't started my research on this yet, but recently Abelbreadgallery posted on making a 90% biga bread. It was a wonderful post.

He talks of the necessity of using a high protein flour for a 90% biga loaf as a lower protein flour would deteriorate  too much to still have structure. Hmmm....... could the texture seen in a good pannetone actually be a controlled,deteriorated protein structure? Does that explain how the pannetone structure is feathery as well as spongey? There are long rises with highly active leavening. It would make sense.

That was as far as I got. So is classic pannetone made with biga? Does the method for classic pannetone (no matter the leavening-biga or more liquid mother) actually deteriorate soe of the protein structure in the long fermentation?

My 2 cents. Not crazy-just bread obsessed!

Evrenbingol's picture

Texture was great. It was feathery and you could easily pull it like a cotton candy with a bit of tension. 
I am after this sort of texture. 

At this point I guess it is an obsession and the fact that I see  Roy's panettone sort of texture can be achieved even if that means it is not panettone anymore, haha. 

I think strong flour makes a lot of sense for the biga. And for the first dough maybe a mix of strong and AP and for the second dough just AP. i am just brain storming. The post on biga is interesting. 

I think I am going to change the way I do it and try a standard country dough like recipe.
I am going to create a 65% hydration dough with 10% liquid started( at 100% hydration) and add egg yolks which is %50 water.. So 13% egg yolks gives me 6.5/7 % hydration which brings to hydration to 72.5 ish. And I ll add sugar and salt  and finally butter(soft very soft butter).  And do a bunch of  S&F and incorporate the candied oranges and raisin during S&F.  I am not going to have second dough. 

Also maybe autolyse the dough before before adding all this with just 65% water.

Would  making an emulsion(sort of like hollandaise) of yolks and butter and sugar and salt and add it to the dough makes any sense? 
So many things to try so little time. 

Thanks for the links and the input. 

Xaimerafiki's picture

I am interested to see how you progressed with this idea of yours, is no secondo impasto, and your quest for a super open crumb. Got any more pics?

pmccool's picture

You'll see that the crumb of your panettone is at the outer limits in terms of openness.  I'd say you've done a spectacular job with this very challenging bread. 

As clazar notes, the crumb should be characterized by a feathery or shreddable texture.  Think pan de mie, for instance.  Or cotton candy that has some substance.  

As to your questions, mwilson's posts on the subject, plus his advice for other aspiring panettone bakers, should give you some excellent pointers. 


Evrenbingol's picture

Thank you sir.

People who tried the bread/panettone loved it and but I guess at this point it is more of an obsession to push limits. To what extend, I don't know.
But If I finds something more challenging I just want to try it. 
So when I see this guy's panettones

, I am like, I have to bake 1000s more. 

Thank you so much for your input and I ll read mwilsons posts. 



inumeridiieri's picture

This panettone is atypycal. 

The upper glaze favors an open structure.


JennyPn's picture

Hi! I was wondering if there was an update on your pannetone formula, I am also obsessed with this is from Roy’s open crumb, it’s amazing 

Hope your bake is going well