Golden Orange Panettone with Chocolate Sauce

Golden Orange Panettone with Chocolate Sauce

March 10, 2015

In Montreal, where I live, boxes of Panettone hang from the ceilings in specialty shops, or sitting at the cash. You practically trip over them in the markets. The shop keepers claim to have the “best Panettone–none better,” Boxed Panettone supposedly make great gifts for clients. Apparently, giving a boxed Panettone, as expensive as you can afford, is a way of saying that the receiver is a very, very, very special person. I never understood why anyone would want to give a boxed cake to someone special. And that’s just it, Panettone is not a cake, it’s a bread–slightly sweet and exquisitely sour. After having made Rose’s version, I now understand that Panettone is a treasured holiday bread that is given to very special people, not from a box, but from your heart, made with your own two hands. The attention to every detail, each in it’s due time, holds the whisper of a promised delicacy–a delicacy that only a homemade Panettone can deliver.

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Instructions

BIGA

  • I really didn’t understand the difference between Biga and dough starter when I began this recipe. I researched it on the internet, and it still wasn’t clear to me. It is a curious mass of dough, water and yeast. It is like a sticky putty after three days in the fridge. I didn’t know what to think about it really.

DOUGH STARTER (SPONGE)

  • Generally, dough starter fascinates me the way it bubbles up and consumes the dry flour. I keep it in a jar in the fridge and it’s really cool stuff. At first, I questioned whether I understood the recipe; it will need two starters: the Biga and the dough starter? I didn’t understand, but no matter about that.
Adding the Biga to the water for the dough starter.
Adding the Biga to the water for the dough starter.
  • What surprised me was how quickly the Biga disappeared into the dough starter.
The Biga dissolving in water.
The Biga dissolving in water.
  • It just dissolved into the new mixture.
The Biga has disappeared into the dough starter.
The Biga has disappeared into the dough starter.
  • So interesting how we layered the same ingredients at different stages of ripeness. At this point, the starter did what I expected; it bubbled up and consumed the dry flour. Yes, this is what is familiar to me.
The dough starter after being at room temp for an hour or so.
The dough starter after being at room temp for an hour or so.

THE DRIED FRUIT FILLING

  • Buying the candied orange peel from my local supplier was unrealistic, as they were selling it in 5 kilo boxes. That’s too much for a home kitchen, so I opted to make my own. No problem there, as I’ve done it many times. This step was quick.
The raisins marinating in the triple sec, vanilla and orange oil.
The raisins marinating in the triple sec, vanilla and orange oil.

PANETTONE DOUGH

  • Adding the final ingredients to the dough is essentially adding the third and final layer of flavour. Now it’s looking familiar.
The dough is coming together.
The dough is coming together.
  • Time to add the candied fruit
The charm.
The charm.
  • It’s so silky and delicate in my hands.
Folding in the candied oranges.
Folding in the candied oranges.
  • It yielded to my every suggestion.
Working the dough.
Working the dough.
  • I couldn’t be rough with it even if I wanted. Ah, the dough–such a pleasure.
Marking the double rising line.
Marking the double rising line.
Ready for the first rise.
Ready for the first rise.
  • From this point forward, the dough went through a series of turning, resting and refrigerating.
Resting in the fridge.
Resting in the fridge.
Out of the fridge and preparing to give it its second turn.
Out of the fridge and preparing to give it its second turn.
This was a beautiful moment.
This was a beautiful moment.

SHAPE THE DOUGH AND LET IT RISE

  • When I finally removed the dough from the fridge for the last time, it had changed consistency.
Getting it out of the bag without deflating it too much.
Getting it out of the bag without deflating it too much.
  • For obvious reasons, it was firmer and less pliable. I gently formed the ball
Forming it into a ball.
Forming it into a ball.
  • and dropped it into the panettone mold,
Dropping it into the panettone mould.
Dropping it into the panettone mould.
  • and let it rise three hours in the 80 degree oven. It seemed to be very busy rising at this stage, and at the end of the time, it looked beautiful.
It’s waiting for the oven to preheat.
It’s waiting for the oven to preheat.

 

PREHEATING THE OVEN

  • I couldn’t decide which setting to use for the oven: convection, or the regular bake setting. The convection provides heat from the bottom and top elements, and the fan is on. The regular bake setting uses only the bottom element without the fan. In the end, I chose the regular bake setting because I wanted the skillet and the stone to radiate the heat upwards. I wonder if the results would have been different if I used convection.

BAKE THE PANETTONE

  • I found the instructions a little confusing at this point and I read and re-read them. Do I put the skillet on the floor of the oven with the baking stone on the rack over it, or do I put the skillet on the baking stone? This sounds silly, I know, but I eventually applied common sense to my confusion and left the skillet on the floor of the oven. I threw a handful of ice cubes in the skillet and shut the door. Poof! Right before my eyes, the panettone puffed up and out.
The shameless oven shot.
The shameless oven shot.
  • After 30 minutes, I covered the top because it was looking a little burned. In total, the panettone needed 60 minutes to reach the correct internal temperature. In the end, it had a muffin top.

COOLING THE PANETTONE

  • As it cooled, the muffin top pushed down on the mold, but I knew the interior was tender. I slid it into a ziplock bag and left in on the counter overnight to ripen.

BREAKING OPEN THE PANETTONE

  • It was a bit liking opening a geode; what would be the secret surprise inside?
So far so good…
So far so good…
Golden Orange Panettone with Chocolate Sauce, The Finer Cookie.
Golden Orange Panettone with Chocolate Sauce, The Finer Cookie.
  • I suppose I could have cut it into nice neat slices, but tearing bread open is one of life’s simple pleasures, and I am all about simple pleasures. The crumb looked so tender, and the flavour was bright, orangey, a wee bit sour, and not sweet at all. This Panettone was so worth the time to make and it will be blazoned in my memory for sure.
Golden Orange Panettone with Chocolate Sauce, The Finer Cookie.
Golden Orange Panettone with Chocolate Sauce, The Finer Cookie.
  • WHAT ARE THE ALPHA BAKERS? : Here’s how it works: once a week, for the next two years, 25 Alpha Bakers commit to baking their way through every recipe of Rose Levy Beranbaum’s newly published Baking Bible . Each week we post our experiences on our blog sites: our successes, our failures, our like and dislikes . The recipes are scheduled in advance so that everyone will be baking the same recipe at the same time. Unfortunately, no recipes can be shared in my Alpha Bakers posts due to publishing restrictions, but if you love to bake,THE Baking Bible is a must-have book. You can see other tutorials for the same recipe at the following link The Baking Bible Alpha Bakers at http://rosesalphabakers.blogspot.ca/.

 

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