My latest panettone was taken from the master of panettone, Francesco Elmi. It's made without commercial yeast. Its ingredients; lievito naturale, butter, citrus and raisins. Here I replaced the rasins with wonderfully spiced chocolate chips - a wonderful gift from spice master Lior Lev Secarz of La Boite . Thanks, Lior! Still need to tweak some issues, but oh so good.
Chestnuts in Panettone? In this Milanese sweet bread that is usually studded with raisins and candied citrus, that would be considered heresy for more orthodox traditionalists. Being somewhat a baking heretic, I seek flavors and textures that aren't always considered traditional. That is why considering how to make this panettone, I considered candied chestnuts.
But while chatting with my friend Domenico, he reminded me of castagnaccio, a chestnut flour cake. It's a delicacy once popular in the Appenine regions, from Emilia Romana, Piedmont, to Corsica where chestnuts grow. Often flavored with dried fruits, pine nuts, citrus, olive oil and rosemary, it's also known as "pattona," not far off from Panetto (small cake), root for panettone. So here I go, with my version with chestnut flour, combining flavors.
Chocolate panettone. Why not? I saw that such a bread had resulted in a prize for the Il Buco Alimentari baker Kamel Saci. I was determined to adapt his version. Mine was made with ginger, tonka bean, and no butter, just olive oil!
It's basically the same formula, I've used in the past. Only now I adjusted the flour component with some superberb Valrhona cocoa! I even made a glaze with some walnuts instead of almond meal. The flavor and crunch was nice, as suggested by my friend and fratello Michele Forgione! Felice 2014!
Yet another Panettone for the holiday. The other went fast. This loaf was baked substituting olive oil for butter. No difference so far as method. Just a bit less lipids, but probably a more perfumed and healthy option. Buon Natale!
Panettone is an enriched bread that I've played with over time. This year I got the strange notion to try a white trash version in a brown paper lunch bag. Not because I wanted to make fun of a grand sweet bread, but I didn't have molds and my dough needed a place to proof and bake! I got a half way decent version with natural leavening, but I think the texture (more like a cake crumb) had some issues with a slow ferment and the white trash bag having not enough insulation. The bottoms certainly got a bit darker then I wanted!
So I went back to the drawing board with a tested formula I'd used and got molds, the real ones! And alas a decent airy panettone fit for the season!
This past weekend I revisited baking panettone, both for practice and in the dreamy hopes of attracting some investors. Anyone want to start a bakery with me? Regardless, read on.
I gave Carmen's formula a try (Madrid tienes miga), though I added olive oil in the final dough for a fruity and healthy option. Besides raisins and candied oranges from Italy, I included a tropical fruit mix; papaya, mango, etc. Even if my kitchen was freezing cold, the multiple feedings for the pasta madre or levain, kicked it up a notch and the first dough was really well risen in the morning when I went to check.
Although I could of made these 600 gram panettone, I stuck with the formula's original 500 gram weight; it's all good. In fact, it's delicious.
Mixing can tax your Kitchen Aid, of course mine is over twenty years old, so, Santa may have to buy me a new one? Meantime, I'm on some baking. Büche next....stay tuned!
Panettone is that sort of in-between holiday's sweet bread you find almost everywhere nowaday. At it's best, it means lovely pillows of yellow dough,studded with fruity goodness permeated with orangey essences, like fior di Sicilia for example.
I've had my share of commercially mass produced panettone, often overly perfumed and sickenly sweet. To be fair to panettone, which is a bread, I would just rather make it myself, which I have with a modicum of success, but mostly failure. Probably it's just timing along with finding a just right formula, making it once or twice, then adapting once I've learned the basics.
Without molds, I monkey-rigged the recipe (it kind of looks like a pirate hung from the yard arm, no? Arrrgh!).
Actually, in the end my panettone looked more like scamorza hanging upside down in a salumeria rather then a delicate sweet bread. Mind you, I veered from traditional in all respects and bastardized this panettone, without any candied fruit or fior di Sicilia. And instead of all butter I added olive oil. So far as flavorings, I used cherries, almonds and grated orange zest and cardomon.
I molded it in a square bain marie, with the help of parchment paper. It rose up square shaped rather then the familiar usual round. I hung it using butchers twine.