Well, folks. I finally did it. I finally found a recipe for panettone that not only works but tastes great and is A LOT easier to whip up compared to the more traditional panettone where it can take several days.
Thanks for all the support! Reading all of your encouraging words certainly helped me get through the hurdle. I was getting pretty disheartened at the latter end there, as I kept trying to change the recipe to see if it would help, only to find out that it came out worse! Trash. But, I pulled through (thank goodness I decided to buy the package of 12 panettone paper molds, otherwise I wouldn’t have had enough for my trials) and escaped the darkness, leaving it a distant memory. I am now shrouded in nothing but the golden rays of panettone happiness. And I am happy. Very happy.
In all my excitement, I think I forgot to mention why I was making panettone in the first place. Though it’s originally from Milan, panettone is actually very popular in Latin American countries, especially Peru. I grew up eating it every holiday season with some butter and a big mug of hot chocolate. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without at least a couple boxes of panettone decorating the table! :-p
In the near future, I want to experiment some more with panettone. Maybe make some mini ones (who can resist those tiny ones in those boxes?), some chocolate ones, and just all around play with the ingredients again. I’m determined to really understand the science that is “baking.” What am I getting myself into.
Again, I have to thank the cooks at Artisan Bread in Five for providing this recipe for a quick and easy panettone. As much as I consider myself a creative cook, there’s no way I would’ve been able to create a panettone recipe from scratch without some guidelines. Maybe someday I’ll be able to. Not today. Nevertheless, I did tweak it just a tad because I couldn’t resist. Also of note, I tried King Arthur Flour products for the first time and loved them. I used their mixed dried fruit blend, fiori di sicilia extract, cake flour, instant yeast, and panettone paper molds. I highly recommend them for buying your baking supplies.
Prep Time: 30 hours (includes mixing, proofing, chilling)
Cook Time: 50-70 minutes (depending on size)
Servings: 12-14; makes 2 medium-sized panettone
¼ C. Disaronno amaretto
1 ½ T. granulated yeast
1 ½ T. kosher salt
½ C. honey
8 eggs; lightly beaten
1 C. (2 sticks) unsalted butter; melted and cooled slightly
3 t. fiori di sicilia extract*
2 t. orange zest
1 ½ C. lukewarm water
7 ½ C. unbleached all-purpose flour
2 C. mixed dried fruit
*Italian blend of vanilla and citrus extract; found online
Douse the mixed dried fruit with the amaretto and allow to sit for a few minutes while you mix the other ingredients.
In a stand mixer with the dough hook, combine the yeast, salt, honey, eggs, melted butter, extracts, zest, and water. Then, slowly begin to incorporate the flour while the mixer is set on low. Strain the mixed dried fruit and add that into the dough as well. Once everything has been thoroughly combined, transfer the dough to a large bowl (the dough will be slightly loose).
Cover lightly and place in the warmest part of your house (i.e. a sunny side, unheated oven) to allow the dough to rise – about 2 hours.
After the 2 hours, place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for ideally 24 hours, but can be used after a couple hours, once it has been thoroughly chilled.
Grease a panettone paper mold (find these online as well) with butter. Dust the surface of your working space with flour. Take the dough out and cover with flour also. Cut the dough in half. Begin to shape each dough into a boule by rotating it around and tucking the dough underneath itself to create a nice, smooth, round dough. Place each round of dough, seam-side down into the individual panettone paper molds. In order to get that nice lift, the panettone dough should be at or near the top of the panettone mold. If not, trim the paper with scissors to achieve this. Cover the panettone lightly and place in a warm area of your house and allow it to rest for about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
After the rest time, uncover the panettone and apply an egg wash over the top. Finish by sprinkling sugar to coat. Place in the oven and bake for about 50-70 minutes (cooking time seems to vary widely depending on the size of the panettone). It is ready once the top is golden brown and the top sounds hollow when tapped. If the top is getting too brown but the inside still needs cooked, cover with foil and continue baking until done.
Allow the panettone to cool completely before slicing and eating.
Enjoy with butter and a huge mug of hot chocolate!
Loved the addition of orange zest.