Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas fave : panettone
聖誕節最愛: panettone (我不知道中文是什麼啦!)

When I was working in Vancouver, a wonderful chocolate bread would occasionally appear in the office kitchen. Since then, I was hooked! It is a traditional dried fruit bread of Milan, usually prepared and enjoyed for Christmas and New Year around Italy, but honestly I am more than happy to eat this bread all the time :D

Unlike any other fruit cake, which is usually dense, dry and brick-like which you can use it as weapon (jk!), this is nothing like that!! It is a light version of brioche bread, dark crust and soft inside.

To be honest, I am not a super fan of dried fruits and the ones I ever had were plain chocolate ones. But I still want to try it with some dried fruits, so I paired it with candied orange peels and walnuts! Doesn't it already sound wonderful?

The outcome was absolutely stunning! The panettone raised nicely and turned into the mushroom shape. Crusty, soft but dense inside. The hint of orange went very well with chocolate, oh not to mention the vanilla flavor lighted up everything.

Chocolate walnut panettone with a hint of orange

1 large + 3 small panettones
recipe revised from Gourmet Magazine

All purpose flour // 3 3/4 cups
Sugar // 2/3 cup
Salt // 1/2 tsp
Active dry yeast (from a 1/4 ounce package) // 1/2 tsp
Grated lemon zest // 1/4 tsp
Vanilla bean, split lengthwise // 1/2 stick
Eggs, room temperature // 3
Mild honey // 1 tbsp
Unsalted butter // 12 1/2 tbsp (10 1/2 tbsp cut into tablespoons and well softened; 1 tbsp melted; and 1 tbsp chilled)
Candied orange peel, chopped // 1/4 cup
Semisweet chocolate chips // 1 cup
Walnuts // 2/3 cup

1. Mix flour, sugar, salt, yeast, zest, and vanilla bean in mixer at low speed until combined. Whisk together eggs, 2/3 cup tepid water, and honey then pour egg mixture into flour mixture. Increase speed to medium-low and mix to combine. Add 10 1/2 tbsp softened butter, 1 tbsp at a time, mixing until incorporated before adding the next. Increase speed to medium-high and mix until dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.

2. Place dough in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a cold oven with the door closed until nearly tripled in volume, 12 to 15 hours.

3. Pull vanilla bean out of dough. Mix orange peel with 1 tbsp melted butter. Stir into the dough along with chocolate chips and walnuts with a wooden spoon.

4. Sprinkle dough with flour and turn out onto lightly floured surface. Sprinkle with a bit more flour, then fold edges of dough into centre and fit dough ball, seam side down, in a 6" x 4.5" cylindrical paper panettone mould*. Cover with a damp tea towel and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature fro about 3 to 5 hours, until dough is just above top of mould.

4. Preheat oven to 370F. Put rack in lower third of oven. Place dough in mould on baking sheet and with a knife score an "X" across the entire surface of the dough. Place remaining tbsp chilled butter in centre of X and bake until a wooden skewer inserted in centre comes out moist but not wet, about 1-1.5 hours (25-30 minutes for the small ones). (Panettone will darken).

5. Pierce two 12" skewers (metal or bamboo) completely through the base of the panettone (including the paper) 4" apart and about 1" from bottom so that skewers are parallel. Hang panettone upside down over a large stockpot or between two chairs to cool completely before cutting.

comment | 5 comments:
dapan said...

i'm a fan of panettone too. i called this as 聖誕包 in chinese. ^^

Yujai said...

haha 還真是貼題!

Memória said...

This looks great! I should make this for Christmas!

Chocolate Shavings said...

I just blogged about panettone bread pudding - I should try making my own panettone now!

Thibeault's Table said...

I've never been a fan of fruit cakes either. BUT, I love the changes you made to this traditional Panettone. Your Panettone is definitely one I would like. Can't wait to give it a try. Thank you.

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