This is a version of my recipe for naturally leavened Panettone, adapted to use brewer’s yeast instead of a sourdough starter. Unlike that recipe, which requires several days in the making, this one can be made in a day. I would suggest you pick a day when you know you will be around to intervene at the various stages of the bake. I also suggest that you start early. It should only take about 8-10 hours from start to finish, but a numbers of factors could cause this to vary.
Even this version of Panettone is not particularly quick or easy to make and there is no guarantee that the end result will be superior to something you might buy.
So why make it? Well, if, like me, you relish a baking challenge, you enjoy the processes of baking as much as the end results, and find it rewarding to know that you have produced something impressive and delicious, why not give it a go? All you have to lose is a few hours of your time!
Equipment You Will Need
- 2 750g paper Panettone cases, approximately 15.5cm across and 11cm high.
- OR 2 similarly sized tins, like these from Lakeland, greased with butter.
- If using the paper cases, 2 sandwich tins to stand them. This will help you move them around without squashing the air out of the dough.
- A mixer with dough hook is advantageous.
Makes 2 750g loaves.
This is a further adaption of my version of a classic and much revered recipe in “Pane e Roba Dolce” by the Sorelle Sisters, who occupy a position rather like twin Mary Berrys in Italy.
- 85g strong white flour
- 85g warm water
- 10g quick yeast (or 30g fresh yeast)
Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes.
First Dough (Saturday 06:00)
- 80g egg yolks (from about 4 eggs)
- 105g warm water
- 320g strong white flour
- 75g caster sugar
- All of the sponge
- 80g soft unsalted butter
In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and water together. Add the flour, sugar and sponge. Mix well, then knead for about 15 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Mix in the butter and continue kneading for another 10 minutes or until you can stretch the dough out as thin as tissue paper.
Cover the dough in the bowl with cling film and leave to rise at room temperature (21C) until it has tripled or quadrupled in size. This should take about 3 hours.
Second Dough (Saturday 20:00)
- 200g sultanas
- 45ml (3 tablespoons) Cointreau or similar
- 50g warm water
- 15g powdered milk
- 30g caster sugar
- 60g egg yolks (from about 3 eggs)
- 6g honey
- 6g malt syrup
- 6g fine sea salt
- 1½ teaspoons (7.5ml) vanilla paste
- ¾ teaspoon (3.75ml) Aroma Panettone
- 160g strong white flour
- 85g soft unsalted butter
- The first dough (all of it)
- 75g diced candied orange peel
- 75g diced candied citron peel
Once you have set the dough to rise, mix the sultanas with the Cointreau in a small bowl, cover with cling film and leave to soak.
In another bowl, whisk together the water and milk powder. Then add the sugar, egg yolks, honey, malt, salt, vanilla paste and Aroma Panettone and whisk again. Add the flour and mix well. Mix this dough into the first one, and knead until thoroughly smooth and elastic. Add the butter and mix and knead until you can stretch the dough out tissue paper thin.
Now add the sultanas and candied peels and mix well.
Have some soft butter to hand. Grease an area of your worktop about 60 x 60cm with this. Scrape the dough out and divide into two pieces of about 800g. Butter your hands and form each piece into a rough ball. Leave to rest for 20 minutes, covered loosely with cling film if your kitchen is at all chilly.
If using paper Panettone cases, stand them in the sandwich tins. If using Panettone tins, grease them well with butter.
Once the 20 minutes is up, butter your hands again and form each piece of dough into a neat ball by dragging it repeatedly across the buttered work surface. For an idea of how to do this, see this video from Weekend Bakery , starting at 0:45.
Place the balls in the cases or tins. Don’t worry that they only come a short way up the cases; they will rise to the top. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place (26-28C) until the outer edge of the dough is level with the top of the case or tin. This should take about 3 hours.
Bake (Sunday 08:00)
Preheat the oven to 175C fan.
Just before baking, cut a shallow cross in the top of the loaves and place small slivers of butter in them. I find it is easiest to make these cuts with kitchen scissors, holding them close to the dough at a shallow angle and making continuous small snips to form a shallow furrow.
If you want, you can use a razor blade to lift up flaps of dough around the cross, then fold these out towards.
Be sure to put the loaves on a shelf in the oven that will allow them to expand without hitting or coming too close to the top elements. Bake for 30 minutes at 175C, then reduce the temperature to 150C and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes. They are ready when the internal temperature is 93C (use a probe thermometer) or a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
These loaves tend to brown too quickly on top, so check them after 15-20 minutes and cover them with foil “hats” if necessary. It’s also a good idea to move them around so they brown evenly.
The loaves need to be cooled upside down as otherwise they may collapse. To do this, insert two long skewers through the loaves, 1 to 2 cm from the bottom, then support these on some sort of framework, like a clothes airer or between two chairs.
This Panettone is best eaten quite fresh, but it does freeze well and will defrost in about 4 hours.
Panettone requires a lot of kneading! For both the first and second dough, you need to keep going until you can stretch the dough to tissue paper thinness. To do this, rub a little flavourless vegetable oil or butter onto your fingers before grabbing an edge of the dough and stretching it out as thin as you can.
I am a huge fan of hand kneading, but even I use my mixer for this recipe. I use the dough hook and run the machine mostly at minimum speed to 1, sometimes giving it a burst of 2 to get things going. Frequent scraping down of the bowl and dough hook is required, and sometimes I have to get the mixing started with the spatula.
I topped my egg yolks up to the required weight with some of the egg white. You will have a lot of egg whites going spare! I freeze them in batches of 2 or 3 in little plastic containers.
If you can find whole candied peel to chop up yourself, all the better. Bakery Bits sell jars of good quality chopped candied orange and citron peel. If you have to use supermarket chopped mixed peel it won’t be a disaster.
Aroma Panettone is a blend of essential oils of bergamot, orange, lemon and tangerine with vanilla extract. It smells just like Panettone in a bottle and gives you the characteristic Panettone flavour. It is very strong and I use only half the quantity recommended on the bottle.