The Fresh Loaf

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Panettone Comparison

evandy's picture

Panettone Comparison

After getting a new Ankarsrum, I've been working my way thorough a few different panettone formulae to see what I want to use next holiday season.  Starting this thread to collate some notes and thoughts on what I've found, and see what others think.  If you have any other formula you really like, please share!

My "Baseline" is the recipe from Rose Levy Berenbaum's Bread Bible.  I've made it 3 years in a row (made 12 of them last christmas).  This is a moderately sweet, dry dough; LOTS of eggs.  Definitely benefits from guilding with butter, or dunking in tea/coffee.  The recipe calls for candied citrus, and candied chestnuts (which is still the flavor combination I enjoy the most).   Not made with any sponge / wild yeast; flavor is all from the Fiori di Sicily, chestnuts, and citrus peel.  Dough out of the mixer is rich and strong, but hydration isn't too high.

#2: Panettone from BBA.   The description sounded fantastic, but I was very underwhelmed by this one.  Extremely dry, minimal sugar and eggs, it was actually white after being baked off.  Very odd dichotomy of being a VERY wet dough, but still dry after baking.   Maybe it was over-baked (only hit 195F)?   Despite the sour-dough starter, got minimal flavor from this one.  The brandied dried fruit overpowered any dough flavor; why use wild yeast for this?

#3: Suas's Panettone from Wild Starter from AB&P.  Holy cow; this dough is the softest, most pillowy panettone I could imagine.   After 30 minutes in the oven, was up to ~205F so pulled it (recipe called for 35-40 minutes).  The bread literally collapsed to a concave top WHILE I WATCHED in about 15-20 seconds.   Put the skewers in and hung it as fast as I could; dough recovered to a nice domed top (though the crumb is noticeably collapsed for the first 0.5cm).  Despite hitting 205, the dough was extremely soft, to the point that it's hard to cut.  Very tasty, not over-powered by the home-made candied orange peel (though I will use less next time).

Still thinking what I want to try next time around; pondering trying Suas's Panettone but reducing the hydration a bit.  I will try and get some good pictures uploaded of Suas's panettone.

fechetm's picture

Hello. I just bought a new Ankarsrum also. Yet, I have some difficulties in developing the gluten structure. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn t. do you use the roller or the hook? for high hydration  do you put all the watter from the beginning? thanks, 

Doc.Dough's picture

It depends somewhat on batch size, but I use the roller and scraper for just about everything including hydrations down to 55% (below which I do it by hand).

evandy's picture

Thus far, I've used the roller and scraper for everything, and I think I've hit just about the full range of hydration and sizes between 2-dozen bagels down to 2 lbs of panettone.   I've occasionally had to knead for a little longer than I expected and/or work with the roller position to get a good kneading action going, but haven't had trouble with gluten development.

How do you usually mix?  I started off following the "directions" of all the water first, followed by the flour... but that's pretty much antithetical to the recipes in Suas's AB&P, or any commercial formula, where everything is a baker's percentage based off the flour.   Adjusting your water is a minor tweak; adjusting the flour throws EVERYTHING off.

The Panettone I did was flour & Starter & 1/2 the water all-in at the same time, followed by slowly working in the rest of the water as-needed.

Colin2's picture

Carol Field's recipe turns out nicely and her sponge-firstdough-seconddough sequence should work well with wild yeast.  The liquid is from eggs, and the butter is about half the flour by weight so you're basically making brioche ... equivalent to "middle-class brioche" in Reinhart's BBA.

evandy's picture

Reviving this, as I'm getting ready for my holiday bake...   Going to run a trial loaf of the Suas Panettone with candied chestnuts substituted for the Raisins in the formula.    Targeting roughly 1000g of dough into a 6x4.5" mold, which is slightly more than the recipe calls for by weight, but I find the chestnuts denser than the raisins.

Debating whether to give the glaze with almonds and pearl sugar a try; will see how I feel (and if the KA flour order with the pearl sugar comes in).

Also debating whether to add granular lecithin; the recipe from last year used it as a shelf stabilizer, but the Suas loaf doesn't call for it.   It's a natural sourdough starter, though, so maybe not necessary.  Thoughts?

Snoop Puss's picture
Snoop Puss

Hi evandy, I'm thinking ahead already for this year's panettone and wondering if you have any thoughts to share after your experience way back when. I know it's a long time since you started this thread, but thought you might have some experience to pass on.