Friday, 21 December 2018

Merry Christmas!! with a Panettone!!

"HO...HO..HO!! Jingle bells Jingle bells..jingle all the way. Santa Clause is coming to town riding on a sleigh!" Yayyy!! Sooo?? Are you ready to welcome Santa, coming in 3 days 😉😉☺☺...
I am ready now...with this Panettone....the new found love here in UK. It is a rich, moist, fluffy, soft and sweet Italian bread which is a kind of cross between a cake and a bread. Sounds yumm, no??!! I know....but wait till you bake your own to relish...THAT my friend, is HEAVENLY 😇😇.

A traditional panettone is a thrice-proofed enriched sweet dough. However, please note that my version isn't authentic traditional rendition. It is a quick-paced version, ready from start to finish in a few hours. It is what I call "Panettone in a pinch" (hope my Italian brethren aren't offended. Plz forgive me, nothing intentional here).
A panettone is baked in a tall mould and that is its beauty...tall, crusty and studded with candied berries and nuts...full of citrusy flavor. The flavor of panettone is quintessential is citrusy n spicy....screaming Christmas....Fiora-di-sicily is the essence used to flavor it, however it is exceptionally costly and not everyone has a sibling in Italy to smuggle it to you can substitute it with equal parts vanilla, lemon and orange blossom water. It gives approximately same flavor profile. Also, if you have a stand mixer to knead it, the better. But don't let that constraint deter you from making it by hand. I hand kneaded it......just be forewarned, that an enriched yeasted dough is very sticky to begin with and somewhat unmanageable. Knead..knead..and knead and it forms into a wonderful ball of gluten. It took me 1 hours 15 minutes of continuous kneading, using both, stretch and fold method and slap and fold method, to turn it into dough. Kneading is an essential part of bread, as that is what leads to glorious crumbs....the more the gluten, the better the structure and crumb.
So now lets get back to our recipe....

Yield: One 7" Panettone
Pan size: 7" Panettone mold/ 7" tube pan/ 7" X 4" round cake pan
Pre-preparation: 1. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/350°F;
2. Grease your pan with butter (no flour plz..only butter).

400 gm Bread flour/ All-purpose flour
10 gm Milk Powder
50 gm Caster Sugar
2 Large Eggs + 1 egg yolk
3 Tbsp softened Butter (salted/unsalted, any will do)
9 gm Instant yeast
1/4 tsp salt
110 ml Lukewarm whole milk
110 ml Lukewarm fresh water
Zest of 1 big Lemon
Zest of 1 Orange
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp Lemon extract
1 Tbsp Orange Blossom Water (NOT Orange Extract)
125 gm candied berries
120 gm mixed raisins
1/4 cup melted butter, for brushing on top

1. Mix together flour, sugar, salt, milk powder and yeast. Add in the eggs and egg yolk. Add all the zest and extracts in the lukewarm milk and dump this in the flour mix.
2. Use your wooden spatula to mix it all in. Add in lukewarm water in 2 parts. Depending on the humidity and heat in your city, you might need less or a bit more than mentioned quantity of water, to form a sticky dough. If it is hot and humid, you might need less than 110 ml water. If it is dry and cold, you might need a couple tablespoons more water. That's why add water in parts. The dough should be very sticky not dry.
3. Cover and Let the mix rest for 15 minutes. This is a form of short autolyse that helps in initial development of gluten, so that the kneading is a bit less back-breaking. (If using stand mixer, just dump everything except the butter and berries/raisins in your mixing bowl and using your dough hook, knead everything together till it forms a sticky mass; then add butter to it and knead till it all comes together in the form of a soft and smooth ball. Go to step 6.)
4. Add some flour to your work surface and plop the batter on it (it might have risen a bit, don't worry it is ok) and start kneading using the stretch and fold method for 15 minutes.
5. Now add softened butter to the dough and knead again for 30 minutes using the stretch and fold method. If the batter is extremely unmanageable, use some more flour for dusting and start kneading. However, too much flour can make the bread dense and dry, so avoid using a whole lot to stop it from being sticky. Don't worry the dough will look sticky, extra slimy and a far cry from a "dough"...but trust will all come together...just keep kneading. After 30 minutes, switch to slap and fold method, for 30-40 minutes, or as long as your dough stops being sticky and comes together as a smooth ball.
6. Keep this dough in a greased bowl, cover it and keep it in a warm dry place to rise, till it is double in volume.
7. After this first proofing, plop the dough again on your lightly floured work surface, and using your rolling pin, roll it out flat in the shape of a rectangle. Plz note, all the air bubbles in the dough should be flattened out. Now add in your candied berries and raisins in the centre and fold in the form of a parcel. Roll the parcel out again in round form. Now gather together the circumference of the circle and close it tightly. Put the seam side down and with the help of the sides of your palm, rotate it so that it forms a ball.
8. Keep this ball in your greased baking pan, cover it and let it rise for 20 minutes in a warm and dry spot. This is the second or final proofing.
9. After 20 minutes, if you wish, use a knife and scour a cross on top of the dough. Brush the top generously with butter and bake at lower rack at 180°C/350°F for 40-50 minutes. The test of doneness for a bread is, when you tap its top, it should sound hollow.
10. Take your bread out of the oven, brush its top again with butter, cover it with a kitchen towel and let it remain in its pan till it is cool to touch. Now, take the bread out on your cooling rack, keep it covered and let it cool down for 3-4 hours before slicing.
Your panettone is ready to be relished....

Enjoy it anyway you want, it makes for a heavenly french can eat it as is, or with a dab of butter, cream, jam...choice is yours!! Happy baking and a very Merry and blessed  Christmas to you all....keep pouring in your love😍😍😍❤❤❤❤....
Byeee for now....
If you have tried any of my recipes, feel free to leave a feedback along with a pic of your bake in the comments. I will be glad to see it. If you have any queries you can connect with me by signing up for my Facebook Page. I will be happy to revert back to you😊😊


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