My Panettone Needs a Tweak
Posted: 07 December 2011 11:26 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Our family absolutely adores Panettone and this year, I thought I would make it my mission to bake them for us, rather than buying.  After a few failed attempts (someone else’s recipe), I realized the best recipe was right on my bookshelf so I took out the Bread Bible and got to work.

I followed Rose’s recipe closely and weighed everything.  I used the European Citrus Peel from KA flour, golden raisins and craisins (because we love them) and used KA AP flour.  I also used Plugra butter. I did not have chestnuts on hand and since my MIL cannot eat nuts I decided not to include them.

I only had small panettone papers and so I used a souffle dish that I attempted to put a collar on and then finished baking in it.  The final product looked, smelled and tasted delicious.  However, I still didn’t have that nice billowy bread that I was so hoping for.

Any suggestions for what I might try differently next time?  Oh yes, I’ve not given up.  I know I can achieve the ultimate panettone with Rose’s recipe and meticulous instruction.  I know it’s me, I’m just not sure what I did.

Thanks in advance,
Randi

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Posted: 07 December 2011 06:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It is traditional to cool panettone upside like angel food cake for the lightest possible texture, but I never found that necessary (if you want to try, you can run skewers through the bottom and hang upside down). There are a lot of variables here—could have either over risen (causing too weak of a structure/collapsing) or under risen (not airyenough) or even have been under developed in terms of gluten structure (bleached flour—you didn’t specify—or under kneading). One of the paradoxes of achieving a lighter bread, especially one with fruit, etc. additions, is you need more structure to support those items and create the lift/lightness.

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Posted: 08 December 2011 02:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hello Matthew.

I did cool the panettone upside down, per RLB’s instruction.  I also used KA AP flour and it is unbleached (this is all that is available to me and I was unaware there was a bleached variety).  I think perhaps I may have over risen as I did exceed the 2 hr period for the final step because it was sort of cool and it just took a while for the dough to rise.  It is entirely possible I didn’t knead enough either; I really tried to follow the recipe and not over-do.

Hmmm… such a tricky thing. It’s sad to go through all the steps, time, etc only to find the finished result falls short. 

I’m going to try again and maybe watch the kneading and rise times. 

Thanks again for your reply.  I appreciate it.
Randi

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Posted: 08 December 2011 02:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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unless you make it every day or year after year, panettone is one of the hardest things to make!  i would just buy it!

using bleached vs unbleached flour makes a PROFOUND effect on panettone.  also the protein content on each brand.

rising, over or under, also.

as well as how we knead.

all the above compose the development of gluten to a degree that is very specific on panettone (airy, feathery, stretchy).

i didn’t get that good results with KA unbleached flours, back in 2006 when i worked on Bread Bible’s panettone recipe.  wasn’t feathery enough.  when i switched to an inexpensive brand of bread flour available for restaurant use locally, which indeed is labeled as bleached, i obtained better results (it must be a weaker flour).  i think a Gold Medal unbleached All Purpose will work better than KA, because it is weaker.

also, i would suggest using the Zojirushi bread machine to knead panettone, and not the KitchenAid stand mixer.  when i made RHC classic brioche, it was heavenly feathery.  brioche is essentially the same as a panettone, sans the toppings.

in all, panettone has zero leeway, it needs to be executed at exact parameters.  in fact, in Italy, nobody at home makes it!

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Posted: 08 December 2011 03:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hi Hector.

What you say makes sense.  I haven’t seen bleached flour where I shop, but I will keep an eye out for it.  I had no idea there was such a difference.  Interesting.

I actually work in a pizzeria and the other day I was saying that it could be like when people attempt pizza at home; it’s just not the same.  We make a really simple dough and it’s awesome, but we constantly hear from customers that they do not have the same results and ask for tips. 

Just for the heck of it, I’m going to see what flour we have at work.  It’s more of a bread flour, but I’m not sure if it’s bleached or not.  We use All Trumps, in addition to others. 

I do have a Panasonic bread maker.  Do you think it’s worth kneading in there?

I just feel like I can do this! ... at least one more time smile

Thanks again.  I really appreciate your input.

Randi

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Posted: 08 December 2011 03:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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OMG Randi, if you have access to that flour, GO FOR IT.  i must tell you one thing:  the scent of panettone been made (both rising, and baking) is worth the trouble!  freshly baked has the superior feathery texture too!  however, flavor wise, it deepens and becomes more even when the panettone has been bagged and left sealed for a few days.

only the Zojirushi bread maker does what i like.  has two blades and it has an amazing slow speed.  it takes near half hour of kneading, but it does it so slow, that i can literally see the gluten strands been born.  the pan is also rectangular, horizontal, which with the two blades turns the dough in a perfect way.  just imagine, if there is a machine superior to kneading by hand, it is the Zojirushi.

try search on the blog for hector panettone.  i made my run on 2006.  about 40 panettones within the same xmas season.

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Posted: 08 December 2011 10:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Don’t know if you can find Gold Medal’s Better for Bread flour, but it might be worth a try.  Last time I made brioche with it, it was higher and poufier than any I’ve ever made before.  It is very, very extensible.

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Posted: 09 December 2011 12:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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All right Hector.  I’m going to make my next attempt using All Trumps.  I honestly never considered using this. 

Soooo glad you opened my eyes smile

Thanks and I will keep you posted (and I’m going to read about your panettone journey.  You’re amazing!)

Randi

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Posted: 11 December 2011 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Thanks Julie.  I’m going to attempt it next with the All Trumps

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Posted: 16 December 2011 10:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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All right, well, I baked the loaf and results “would” have been great.  One problem was that I didn’t bake it long enough.  I was afraid of drying it out and while my tester came out clean, (I didn’t test the temp), it was slightly doughy.  Still good, but not quite there.

I’m going to make another because I’m getting closer.

Thanks,
Randi

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