The Fresh Loaf

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Panettone trouble shooting. What went wrong?

Xaimerafiki's picture
Xaimerafiki

Panettone trouble shooting. What went wrong?

Hi everybody,

This is my first post so apologies if I make any FL forum faux pas. This weekend I decided to bake my first ever panettone. I decided to use the formula that mwilson posted for "perfect panettone" but almost immediately ran into trouble. I couldn't find the method to go along with it so I aimed to form a dough with the lievito Madre, flour and water before adding eggs, sugar and finally butter. I had refreshed my lievito Madre 3times and it did triple in volume in the last refreshment.

In the beginning it was difficult to form a strong elastic dough with such little water, so I ended up adding the eggs and sugar before the dough was elastic. I kneaded that until elastic then added butter and kneaded again until windowpane.

However, after 12 in a warmish spot overnight (couldn't be sure it was 28C), little to no rise at all!!!?? What could have happened? In a desperate attempt to save it, I added a little commercial yeast (1/4tsp) with the secondo impasto along with the other ingredients. The dough has been rising for 4h now and I've seen maybe 50% volume increase.

What could I do differently next time?! I was sure I'd run into problems but I didn't think things would go wrong so quickly.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Welcome to the forum and well done for having a go at this. Making a panettone following Massari's formulae takes courage as success requires adept hands.

With that in mind I'm not surprised you have run in to trouble.

The lievito madre must really be up to task to leaven this dough. Unfortuately it seems yours was not.

(PRIMO Impasto)
As you obsevered the Primo impasto includes little water (~33%) with remaining hydration coming from the yolks.

Sugar strongly effects the way dough forms and behaves like water. Typically the way to proceed would be to first dissolve the sugar fully in water and then add flour and 1/3 of the yolks. You should have no problem forming a dough with this. Next add the lievito madre followed by the butter and lastly the remaining 2/3 yolks.

You have a dough that looks good. Just leave it and it should eventually leaven (in theory). Good luck with the next run..

Merry Christmas,
Michael

Xaimerafiki's picture
Xaimerafiki

Thank you for your reply! I wish I had seen it sooner! I will definitely try this method and post pictures of my results.

It seems out of all the posts about panettone you're a bit of a boss at it so I did have another question that I can't seem to find an answer to. And that is why one has to use a low hydration "lievito Madre" at all? Is it for the sake of tradition or would I still be able to produce a nice panettone with my 100% hydration starter? From all the reading I have done (shout out to Debra Wink) it seems the most important thing for achieving the correct flavour is that it is left to proof at the correct temperature and that the lievito be fed at 4 hour intervals. I haven't found anyone talking in depth about why it has to be a stiff starter. Maybe you could shed some light on this?

Also, I am confident about the strength of my starter, but should it not tripple in 4hours, could I alter the ratios in my feedings to help it get more volume?

Thanks

James

mwilson's picture
mwilson

A wet 100% hydration starter that triples in volume in 4 hours is not equal to a firm 50% hydration starter that triples in the same time. They are not like for like in terms of their leavening power. It doesn't require much oomph to push up a semi-liquid medium.

A wet starter doesn't have the strength, that is not leaving power but strength in it's ability to push up rather than out.

The ability of a starter is what it can do. For Massari the proof needed, to know the starter is ready is such that, as a firm dough (50% hydration) it triples in volume in four hours each time over three consecutive refreshments and the final pH is about 4.1.

Certainly you can leaven a panettone with a wet starter but you won't get the same result. With less strength the panettone would require more time to leaven and may even struggle to reach the top of the mould because it doesn't have that innate ability to push up. Also the top of the panettone would likely be flat rather than domed.

Hope that helps.

Happy holidays,
Michael

Xaimerafiki's picture
Xaimerafiki

Thanks Michael! I figured I'd not be able to see a triple in volume with my liquid starter due to the bubbles popping at the surface. But why would this matter in terms of pushing up once it's added to the dough? If I adjust the flour and water in the primo impasto to account for the higher hydration in the lievito, what causes the difference here to the pushing up ability? Is there a significant microbiological difference in a dry lievito madre that affects gluten structure or development?

Thanks for your kniwledge! Merry Chrimbo!

 

James

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Dough strength and its relationship with starter and pre-ferment consistencies are a subject I have discussed on numerous occasions here on TFL.

A starter is an ingredient and like other ingredients; butter, sugar, water etc. they all impart chemical properties which contribute to the resultant physical properties. It is not just a case of cell numbers, processing is key.

With starter, pH, TTA, Redox potential and fermentation quotient are all factors.

Please read: http://www.sfbi.com/pdfs/NewsF04a.pdf for a better understanding of dough strength.

 

Xaimerafiki's picture
Xaimerafiki

I was so careful this time. I'm off work so I had time to do 4h feedings over 4 days. Tripled every time. Primo impasto mixed up nicely. Kept it at 28 for 12h over night. Hardly any rise at all.... What am I doing wrong?! I have added yeast again to the 2° to save it. But it's so frustrating.