Monday, December 12, 2016


Panetone / Panettone

Even though I have been posting Christmas recipes at this time of the year for a long long time, I have not baked panettone – or chocottone, for that matter – in ages. We sometimes get panettones as gifts, and my husband sometimes buys some at this time of the year.

This year, however, Joao told me he wanted homemade panettone and since I was on a Christmas state of mind I decided to make it. It was a rainy Saturday, I did not want to go anywhere, so I made the panettone and watched Carol in between (by the way, I am still trying to understand all the fuss over the awards season).

This is an adaptation of Paul Hollywood’s panettone and it turned out really delicious – the tender brioche dough perfumed with citrus and dotted with chewy and sweet raisins and dried cranberries. But unlike Paul’s brioche, that still tastes great a day after it is made, the panettone got a little tough on the following morning – it was still delicious, but texture-wise it was better freshly baked. If your family is big, I am sure the panettone will be gone in no time, but if there are not many of you around to eat it within a day no worries: it makes a killer French toast. ;)

slightly adapted from Paul Hollywood

14g dried yeast
140ml whole milk, lukewarm
75g granulated sugar
500g all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon table salt
5 large eggs, room temperature
finely grated zest of 1 orange
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Cointreau
1 teaspoon Amaretto
200g unsalted butter, softened
120g dried cranberries
120g golden raisins
120g dark raisins
50g crystallized orange peel, finely chopped

Egg wash:
1 egg, lightly beaten with a fork

In the bowl of an eletric mixer, place yeast, milk and a pinch of the sugar and mix with a fork. Set aside for 5 minutes or until foamy. Add the flour, salt, remaining sugar, eggs, orange and lemon zest, vanilla, Cointreau and Amaretto, then mix on slow using the dough hook for two minutes. Increase the speed to medium and mix for a further 6-8 minutes until you have a soft dough.

Add the softened butter and mix for another 5-8 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Dough will be very soft. Mix in the dried fruit and crystallized orange peel. Transfer the dough to a large buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight until the dough has firmed up enough for you to able to shape it.

Prepare a 18cm/7in panettone pan by brushing the inside generously with melted butter*.
Remove the panettone dough from the fridge, knock back the dough, shape into a ball and place into the pan. Leave to prove at room temperature for a further 2-3 hours, until the dough just starts to dome over the top of the pan.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
Brush the top of the panettone with egg wash and bake for about 25 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 150°C/300°F and bake for a further 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Check the panettone periodically in case of oven hot spots. Bear in mind that the sugar and butter in the dough could brown too much before it is actually fully baked – if panettone starts to brown too quickly, cover it loosely with foil.
Remove the panettone from the pan immediately and allow to cool over a wire rack.

* I used a 20cm (8in) round cake pan to bake my panettone – I made a collar with a double sheet of baking paper folded in half (that way getting 4 layers of paper) and buttered it all with melted butter (there is a photo of the prepared pan on my Instagram).

Serves 8-10

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