I grew up eating Panettone at home. Mom is a serious eater, she totally loves it. I learned to enjoyed it, then liking it, and now the number one fan. I have tried every single Panettone box out in the market. I have to confess that before becoming a serious baker it had never crossed my mind that I could bake it.
In my first experience working at a bakery I certainly learned how to do it. The bakery was changing recipes at the time and it was very interesting to see how they were leaving one tradition after 10 years and starting a new one. Certainly the bakers were not happy with the change. I remember seeing the grumpy faces as they twiked it everyday, and my belly happy to try new flavors.
The process of changing, upgrading, or testing new recipes is a really interesting one. One, as the baker, needs to think of all the chemistry that might occur when you mix the ingredients together, make hypothesis about the outcome and certainly hope that it will be. In my case, it has never been a quick trip. It has always involved at least 3-5 tryouts. Which is not bad... but is not perfection. Yes, I know perfection does not exist, but I believe each and everyone of my recipes need to be perfect (at least under my eyes) before I get to share it.
This panettone, had 6 tryouts. I think that not only the dried and candied fruits are very tasteful, but the dough by it self is absolutely delicious and one could make honey buns out of this dough... just giving some ideas out. Haven't try it, but if you do, please share the outcome.
Makes: 2 units of 650 gr each Prep time: Cook time:
- Hydrate raisins in desire liquid: cognac, rum, wine, water.
- Pre-fermented dough: In a small bowl combine the flour, milk and yeast. Mix, cover and let it rest for 20 minutes-1 hour.
- Dough In a small bowl activate the yeast by combining it with the milk, set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment combine the pre-fermented dough, flour, sugar, vanilla extract, orange zest and juice, cognac, eggs, and milk. Mix until well combined, add the butter in pieces and keep mixing until dough comes out of the bowl. Cover and let rest until it doubles in volume. Preheat oven to 330F. Sprinkle all the dried fruit with flour (this is done for fruit not to add liquid into dough and not to sink to the bottom of the panettone). Stretch the dough in a rectangular shape, add the dry fruits, roll and cut into pieces. Scale to desire weight, place on liner, cover, and double in size. Egg wash with egg whites, and add pecans and almonds, or desire fruit to the top for decoration. Bake for 30-60 minutes, depending on panettone size.