I’m writing this post four days before Christmas, and this time of year always makes me want to bake. I love traditional, buttery, sweet seasonal breads, and panettone is one I will always associate with my time living in Argentina when I was in high school.
Looking through my archives, I’m amazed I’ve never actually made panettone before. It’s possible I just made it but didn’t blog about it, but I find that unlikely. I doubt I would make a bread this time-consuming and involved and not document it!
Some of the Christmas or Winter seasonal breads I’ve made for the blog are:
I would not recommend this recipe for someone new to baking. Or at the very least, I would make it into a single loaf instead of mini loaves. The dough is too sticky and difficult to work with. But that’s just my opinion.
This panettone recipe is Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day.
For this recipe (to make one large loaf or 24 mini loaves) you will need:
3 tablespoons active starter
170g bread flour
1/4 cup water (I had to add slightly more)
All of the sourdough starter
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 egg at room temperature
3 egg yolks at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
213g bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup butter at room temperature
1 1/3 cups chocolate chips
- Make the starter the night before you want to bake.
- I didn’t read the instructions properly and threw all the ingredients of the final dough together up until the butter. Oops! It seemed like it turned out okay though. Throw the first ten ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer until combined. Then add the butter one tablespoon at a time, waiting until each tablespoon is incorporated before adding the next. Mix VERY, VERY well for a looooong time until the gluten starts to cause the dough to pull away from the sides of the bowl, about ten minutes. Then add the chocolate chips and mix another 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer your dough to a clean countertop and do several stretch-and-folds to strengthen your dough. The dough is super, super sticky. Then put it in an oiled bowl and cover and let rise for 6-8 hours.I did several more stretch and folds over the course of the dough rise because they make the dough rise faster by redistributing the yeast and sugars. And I needed these loaves to be baked, finished and cooled by 5pm so I only had 10 hours for a recipe that, according to Peter Reinhart, takes at least 19 hours. So I gave the first rise five hours.Thankfully the dough complied with my time constraints.
- When it’s time to shape your dough, divide it into however many pieces you want (either one large loaf or as many little loaves as you want). I wanted to make mini loaves, so I divided the dough into small pieces of about 75g. Because the dough was so sticky I didn’t weigh the pieces.
- Roll each piece into a ball and place them in an oiled muffin tin or with cupcake liners. This is harder than it sounds with this super sticky dough. Then use a brush to brush an egg wash on top of the loaves. This isn’t necessary but for a buttery, golden dough like this I like a nice, extra-golden crust.
- Cover and let rise for (according to Reinhart) 12 hours, or if you’re me, 2.5 hours. Eh, close enough. Because I was worried about the dough sticking to the towel, I set up this contraption using two tall cooling racks and three towels:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Bake your dough for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Then cool completely before eating.These were so amazing! They taste a bit like popovers and the chocolate chips were awesome. I brought some next door for our neighbors’ Christmas party and then ate the rest. The end.