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Sep 13, 2012

Sourdough Panettone


 One of the advantages to being about two years late to the BBA Challenge party is the ability to read every participant's blog post for successes and failures. Let's just say, it was really difficult to find any post that displayed any enthusiasm about the success of the panettone recipe in Bread Baker's Apprentice.

So I cheated.

Yes, I admit it. This was the first of my two real BBA Challenge violations (more on the other one in a later post). Thank goodness there aren't any BBA Challenge enforcers out there. Or BBA probation.

I used the recipe from Peter's Artisan Breads Every Day. Hey. Same author! From what I understand, in each book, Peter often perfects the recipes he has developed for earlier books. Not really cheating, right?
By the way, this is an absolutely wonderful book that lays out how to create fabulous breads using the slow ferment method. If I had to recommend just one book to get someone hooked on bread baking, this would be it.

Panettone is a Milanese Christmas bread that is baked in panettone papers or molds. You can also use muffin tins and popover pans. I used two 5 1/4 inch panettone papers. The size was perfect for this recipe. If you buy the 7 inch pannetone paper, just make one large loaf.

This bread has an airy and layered feel, and you can peel off thin ethereal pieces of it to eat.Because of the slow rising time of the two components of this bread, I recommend making the starter in the morning, making the dough just before going to bed, and then popping them in the oven when you wake up in the morning. My loaves took about 9 hours to rise even though the recipe says 12. What can I say? It's bread! It has a mind of its own.

For a panettone that doesn't require a sourdough starter or hanging upside down, you can also try Overnight Panettone.    

Sourdough Panettone

Adapted from Artisan Bread Every Day by Peter Reinhart


1 1/2 ounces of fed sourdough starter
6 ounces of bread flour
3 ounces of room temperature water

Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the paddle at the lowest speed for one minute. Increase to medium and mix for 30 seconds. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead by hand for 30 seconds. The dough should be tacky but not sticky. Place the dough in an oiled bowl or dough rising bucket, cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise at room temperature for 8 hours. It should double in size. Refrigerate it up to 4 days in advance if you are not going to use it right away.

Panettone Dough

All of the starter
1 T honey
2 ounces lukewarm water (about 95 degrees)
1 t. instant yeast. (I used SAF Gold, which is a yeast designed for enriched breads, but it's probably not necessary)
1 room temperature egg
3 room temperature egg yolks
1 T vanilla extract
1/8 t. orange oil, optional
7 1/2 ounces bread flour
3/4 t. salt
3 T sugar
6 ounces unsalted butter at room temperature
8 ounces dried or candied fruit such as citron, orange peel, lemon peel, golden raisins, and cranberries. I used golden raisins and cranberries. You may soak the fruit in about 3 T of brandy, rum, or other liqueur if you like.

If the starter has been refrigerated, remove it about an hour before making the dough. Cut the starter into about 10 pieces and add them to the bowl of a stand mixer.
Mix the warm water, honey, and yeast and whisk together. Let it sit for a minute and then add it to the starter.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, vanilla, and brandy. Add it to the starter mixture. Stir until everything is evenly incorporated.
Add the flour and salt and mix on the lowest speed for two minutes with the paddle attachment.
With the mixer at the lowest speed, slowly add the sugar by 1/4 teaspoonfuls.
Increase the speed to medium low and mix for 5 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a dough scraper as needed.
Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium low, adding the butter, one tablespoon at a time. Wait until each piece is fully incorporated before adding the next.
Mix until the dough is shiny, soft, and taffy-like, about 5 minutes on medium low, and 5 minutes on medium.

Add the fruit, and mix on the lowest speed for one minute. Divide into the the sizes you need. I divided the dough in half for two 5 1/2 inch papers. Use all of the dough for a 7 inch paper mold. Each paper should be 1/3 full. Place the molds on a sheet pan and spray the tops lightly with spray oil. Cover the whole thing with plastic wrap. If you have a food grade plastic bag, that's even better. Let it rise for 12 hours (mine took about nine hours).
Before baking them, I sprinkled the tops of my loaves with sparkling sugar. 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees for rolls, and 325 for larger breads. Bake the small ones for 30 minutes and the larger ones for 40 minutes to an hour. The internal temperature should be 185 degrees. Cool the larger breads upside down on a rack.

I probably should have pinched that bubble, but I didn't want to jinx them.
Before filling the large molds, I ran skewers through them so I could hang them upside down after removing them from the oven to prevent collapsing. Do not over spray these molds with oil or the bread will slip out when it is upside down.

I saw this technique on Susan's Wild Yeast blog.

Would you like to comment?

  1. Panettone is one of things that's been on my "to-try" and "must-make" lists for ages. These are beautiful and I love that skewer technique, I will definitely remember than when I finally make some :D

    1. Hard to explain to the inhabitants of my house but it worked!


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