The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Panettone Alveolation Progress

SueVT's picture

Panettone Alveolation Progress

Still working away at my panettone here in the VT wilderness. I've adopted a consistent twice-daily feeding process for my Lievito Madre, and have made other adjustments in dough handling, pH measurements, proofing temperature, and baking process.

I am now seeing significantly more alveolation in the loaves, so apparently all of these things are contributing factors. 

This is the Candied Strawberry Chocolate Caramel panettone.  Here is a side-by-side with my bake of two weeks ago, the new bake is the top row:


albacore's picture

These look great Sue! I also get the impression they are taller than the earlier examples?

How have you progressed with pH measurements and proofing temperature?


SueVT's picture

Thank you Lance, it was rewarding to see that all the things I've been doing have had a result! I've been measuring pH before the morning and evening maintenance refresh, and as a result, I've modified some of those refreshes. I've added an every-other-day bagnetto in the morning for those days where I am doing a dry overnight phase, and have been doing an overnight coiled water maintenance on other nights. I'm keeping the daytime refresh at a warmer temperature to encourage a better balance of organisms. 

And a few other small things. The pH has slowly risen over the last two weeks with this treatment. I've seen a volume increase as well. 


Benito's picture

How wonderful Sue, you must be so pleased with your progress!


SueVT's picture

Yes thank you, I may have reached the first base camp on my hike up Mt Everest.  Plenty more mountain ahead of me though!

Cheers, Sue

mwilson's picture

Looks great Sue!

Certainly, the extra steps have paid off. Indeed, there is a bolder bloom! How did the pH measurements fare?

While I am with you and always here to help, if you don't mind, may I ask what is the primary goal on your panettone journey? Are you a Shvartzapel devotee seeking the majesty of an open crumb!?

I would caution to not let such majesty blind what is a skillful and rewarding endeavour. Not all holey crumbs are holy!

Flavour and texture are the key sensory criteria! Amazingly, they even have competitions in Italy to find the best artisanal panettone!

The journey is long!


Been about 12 years for me! Although my goal is mastering fermentation as a whole! No matter the application!




SueVT's picture

Yes, I think I am currently rather fascinated with the Roy-style open crumb, while understanding now from at least 3 experts including you, that it basically has to somewhat affect flavor and texture. Certainly, open spaces do not taste like anything at all. This latest bake improved after a day or two of "curing" post-bake, and developed a very "shreddy" texture despite the holes.  

Open crumb has come to be seen as a marker of success with sourdough bread baking, IMO, and this style of panettone seems to be riding its coattails. But I like the challenge of it. Thank you for your LM information and advice; my LM is improving because of it!  I am feeding the LM twice daily, 40% hydration. The overnight maintenance is kept at a somewhat lower temperature, but not refrigerator temp. One recent change is that I am feeding at 150% flour ratio, based on advice from the LM Italian FB group, which I think was derived from a couple of sources, one of which was Giambattista Montanari. Since I started this a couple of weeks ago, my pH has been reading between 4.05 and 4.15 approximately, fairly consistently. Reading taken at the end of 12 hour fermentation, just before feeding.

And also because of this, I have purchased this book, which is quite interesting: