Panettone 2

My quest for Panettone continues with much effort and experimentation.  I probably won’t be able to make the “perfect” Panettone we’re used to eating (from the store bought Panettones, at least I think that’s how it should taste like since most of them came from Italy, or am I too naïve??) without spending time nurturing the “biga” (starter).  Check this website!  the Panettone looks really great, but just read the steps, I don’t think I have enough love for Panettone to commit to that…  If any of you know tried and tested Panettone recipes please send it to me!!

Meanwhile, I found another recipe for Panettone which looked much simpler than the first Panettone I made.  If this works out, I can potentially save 1 day to 1-1/2 days (since the first recipe required the biga to sit overnight and the dough to proof 6 hours)!!  This recipe came from this site where the author replicated her Italian grandmother’s recipe. 


Makes 1 large bread:

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • In a large bowl, combine the yeast, water and sugar. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes, or until the mixture becomes foamy. Add the eggs, yogurt, vanilla extract, salt and lemon zest. Mix well!
    Then stir in the flour a 1/2 cup scoop at a time until the dough shapes into a manageable ball. Plop it onto a lightly floured surface and begin kneading the dough for about 5 to 10 minutes (if necessary, add more flour until you can easily mold the dough and it’s not sticky – this could take 4 or 5 cups of flour, so be patient!)
  • Place dough in a large, lightly pan-sprayed bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. (My grandmother always used a blanket to cover and wrap the entire bowl for warmth)
    While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and prep a round 8-inch cake pan with non-stick spray.

    In a smaller bowl, toss the raisins with confectioners’ sugar.
    Punch down your dough ball in bowl, and then transfer it to a flat, floured surface – then kneed in the fruit!

    Form the dough into a ball, place in prepared cake pan, cover loosely with a towel, and allow it to rise for about 25-30 minutes. (Don’t worry, it’s normal for the dough to rise above the sides!) Brush the top of the panettone with melted butter, then bake for 45 minutes, or until it is a golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    **Changes I made: I soaked the raisins in a 1/4 cup brandy.  Added the strained brandy from the raisin into the dough mixer when it was being kneaded in the beginning.  Also, as the caption described under the photos, I increased the time for proofing. 

    Initial dough after the rise and kneading in the fruits (instead of 1 hour, I let this proof for 2 hours).
    After the dough was left to proof (instead of 30 minutes, I let this proof for close to 1 hours).  Also as you can see, I have skewers through the paper mold; last time I only had 2 on opposite sides (but this time I had 2 skewers on each side)

    When the Panettone was done, I immediately turned it upside down and let it hang using 2 chairs (this is to prevent from the dome collapsing).  I didn’t have to do this on my first Panettone because it turned out to be much denser. 


    My opinion:  Shape and texture came out much better than my original Panettone.  My family liked this better too, but this isn’t to say that the first Panettone was bad, it was just different. 

    Taste wise, this had closer Panettone taste, texture didn’t come out as “fluffy” as the store bought ones, but it was soft, chewier and more sweet bun-like.   For now, I think I am happy with this.  Maybe in the future I am ready to commit and invest in the longer version of making Panettone.

    **So, after all my family members tasted this Panettone, my children slightly preferred this Panettone, and my husband preferred the original Panettone.  Maybe I’ll try to revise the original Panettone and see if I can improve it.


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