Panettone screams out holiday gatherings. Enjoy with company over coffee
Growing up in an Italian household, panettone was like gold around the holidays. I remember having company over and guest would bring panettone in a box that was wrapped like a present. My mom would slice it open after dinner with coffee. The aroma of the sweet, delicate cake was unreal. Rum, orange citrus notes with hint of ginger and spice. The texture was as if bread and cake mingled and turned into one. A chewy, yet a soft, tender crumb. As family gathered and sipped on espresso, we dunked our fresh panettone in the hot coffee. "Life was bliss"
Panettone comes in all sizes and flavors. It is a cake that is aerating through the magical process of fermentation, with yeast. My siblings and I would guess the flavor of panettone that our guest would bring according to their personality. We would laugh and say the "old folks" would bring rum and raisin panettone and the cool aunties would bring the double chocolate panettone. Traditionally, panettone was made with just dried fruit that had been soaked in alcohol for weeks or even months. Over the years panettone flavors has expanded into fusions, and various unique flavors to appeal every generation or nationality. Lemon & cranberry, pistachio crema, hazelnut crunch...Whichever flavor was brought it was always delicious. My mom would turn the leftovers into French toast; by dipping the sliced panettone into a custard mixture and pan frying it. Simply delicious. To me panettone screams Christmas gathering. You eat it with company while spreading cheer or gossip.
Where did Panettone originate from?
This sweet bread originated from Milan. It dates back to the Roman Empire , when Romans would sweeten a type of leavened bread with honey. In the 18th century, this type of bread was called "pan de ton" which means luxury bread. In the 20th century Milanese bakers mast produced panettone, and allowing the dough to rise three times to have that distinguished height, flavor and textural component.
FUN FACT: Did you know Italy has laws and regulations for labelling panettone? In order for a baker to sell a panettone that is authenticated it must have 20 percent candied fruit, 16 percent butter, must contain eggs and least 4 percent egg yolks.
To make panettone, make sure you a have the correct bakeware. Panettone is traditionally baked in a distinct pan. It must have the appropriate height, which is usually 4 inches and above to achieve the ideal panettone shape. Some people say it looks like a mushroom, In my opinion it reminds me of a HUGE muffin!
PAPER VS. FOOD-GRADE ALUMINUM
Panettone pans comes in baking paper molds and food-grade aluminum pans. Which is best?
Paper panettone molds can withstand temperatures up to 375F. Depending on the quality of the paper, your finished results can differ. The cheaper quality will be quite flimsy and will not hold the classic panettone shape as the raw dough proofs. Low quality paper molds tend to burn after 375F. Most panettone recipes bake between 375F to 400F. High quality panettone paper molds can withstand higher temperatures, and are built with double ply. The only issue is the price and waste. It can cost up to $10 a piece. $10... thrown out after each use. Another con of panettone paper molds is the molds are not ecofriendly. Most liners are not compostable.
I believe aluminum panettone pans are the optimal choice for creating the classic Italian delicacy. Aluminum panettone pans conduct heat efficiently. Just like cake and bread your bakeware needs to provide consistent heat to your baked goods. The pan needs to be sturdy, to hold 1 kg of dough, as it rises through the three rounds of fermentation. A panettone pan should have the appropriate depth and height. The height should be four inches and above. The reason for great depth is to allow the panettone dough to rise as much as possible without collapsing. Each time the fermented dough rises, it needs structure from the bakeware to grip on. The smaller the height, the higher chance the dough will collapse.
Crown Cookware's panettone pans are the BEST choice to bake panettone. Why?
Made from pure, food-grade aluminum. NOTHING TOXIC!
The PERFECT metal thickness, to conduct heat to your dough.
STURDY! Guaranteed to last! Use over and over. Crown Cookware offers a life-time warranty on all their manufactured products.
The height is 4". The shape of their pan is a classic mold. As the height exceeds , the width gradually increases. This feature is great to have for bread because it reassures the dough's growth with stability.
Now that you have the perfect pan, let's bake with Baker Mary's Classic Panettone Recipe!
RECIPE YIELDS One 7" Panettone
Panettone Pan Needed: 7" Top x 6.5" Bottom x 4" Height
Bread Flour : 350g
Instant Yeast: 8g
Egg Yolks: 3
Kosher salt: 3g
Granulated Sugar: 63g
Ground Cinnamon: 3g
Ground Nutmeg: 2g
Cold Unsalted Butter: 113g
Milk Chocolate Chips: 80g
Dark Chocolate Chunks: 80g
35% cream 200ml
Dark Chocolate 200g
Make the chocolate filling one day before:
Place chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl.
Boil cream, and pour on top of chocolate.
Leave the mixture to sit for 5 minutes untouched.
Whisk the ganache after 5minutes until the chocolate is melted and fully incorporated.
Leave the mixture at room temperature overnight. This mixture will magically thicken and harden.
Grease a 7” panettone pan with butter and flour.
Heat milk, until warm 79F (DO NOT BOIL)
Mix warm milk with yeast, in a mixing bowl.
Add flour, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg to this. Knead slightly. If using a stand mixer make sure it is on speed 2 with a dough hook attachment.
Add yolks to this mixture and continue to knead until it forms a shaggy mess. (1min)
Cut cold butter into cubes.
Add butter to the mixer slowly, and knead for an additional 8 minutes or until the butter is fully incorporated. The dough should look smooth and elasticity.
Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let proof (Grow) for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, punch the dough down. Add chocolate chips to the mixture and fold the dough 3 times.
Let the dough grow for an additional 1 hour in a warm place. Make sure the dough in the bowl is covered with plastic wrap or a moist kitchen cloth.
Shape the dough.
Take the dough and ball it out, in a smooth round.
Place balled dough in a greased 7” panettone pan.
Let the dough rise again in the panettone pan for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375F
Egg wash panettone dough. And score a cross in the middle of the dough.
Bake the panettone in a preheated oven for 1 hour. After 1 hour cover with aluminum foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
The internal temperature of panettone is 88C. A trick to see if it’s baked, stick a thermometer in the center of the bread. If it reads 88C it is done!
Do not remove the panettone from the aluminum pan. Let it cool for 1 hour.
After 1 hour fill panettone with the chocolate ganache mixture by using a piping bag.
Remove panettone cake from the pan. Serve
Traditionally panettone takes several weeks to make, due to the use of a sourdough culture for the fermentation process. Bakers tend to marinate dried fruits in rum or various liquors for months before making the Italian delicacy. Baker Mary's recipe was developed to create panettone with less time and less labor by using the addition of instant yeast. If chocolate does not appeal to your taste buds you can opt it out, and use crushed walnuts, pistachios or almonds. You can fill your panettone with lemon curd, nut butters, or even delicious, yummy, ice cream.