Golden Orange Panettone

There was a lot of angst in our baking group about this week’s recipe from The Baking Bible.  I’ve been baking bread at least every other week for the last couple of years, so bread honestly doesn’t scare me. In my adult life, I think I’ve only had a real disaster once with bread, when I left the yeast out. Did that a few times with my parents’ bread machine as a kid, too.  This one’s a special sort of bread – lots of butter, lots of egg yolks, and candied/dried fruit.  In my post this week, alongside the pictures for the panettone, you’ll see a few process pictures of my rye sourdough, which I was working on at the same time.

Bread cousins!
Bread cousins!

The first step, and I started this on Saturday morning, a week ago, was to feed my sourdough starter.This recipe called for a biga, which is one of many types of pre-ferments. Rose said that if you had one available, you could use a liquid sourdough starter, with flour added to become a dough. I’ve been maintaining a stiff sourdough starter for probably about a year now, so I fed it early Saturday morning, and Rose told me on Facebook that it would be ready to bake with the next day, so that’s what I did.

The next step was to source some candied orange peel. Since The Baking Bible recommends fine-quality candied orange peel from France, I thought I’d start at the Euro Food store in Kitchener, where I normally find high fat butter – “masło ekstra”. Nothing even approaching candied fruit, there, unfortunately.  The next stop, and fortunately the only other one needed, was Vincenzo’s, who claim to offer the “finest gourmet foods from Italy and the Mediterranean, at reasonable prices.” They actually even had boyajian orange oil, which I’ve never seen before, locally!

Once you’ve sourced the candied orange peel, you chop it up into little cubes.

Candied orange peel
Chopping up the candied orange peel

Golden raisins go into some orange-flavoured alcohol, which in my case was Grand Marnier, because my overflowing liquor cabinet was all out of Triple Sec. Or was it the other way around?  Either way, I used the one the recipe didn’t call for.

Soaking the raisins
Soaking the raisins

I let the raisins soak overnight. Saturday night, I also fed/expanded my sourdough for my rye. The next morning, I started out by putting my sourdough brrad together.  The first step in this process is to put 95g of rye berries into the top of my mill. 😀

Rye berries
Rye berries

Out comes fresh rye flour!

Fresh rye flour
Fresh rye flour

I love my mill. My husband gave it to me for my birthday a couple of years ago, and the flavour that you get from freshly ground flour is amazing. After mixing up my rye, I switched over to the panettone.  Make the sponge, using the stiff sourdough starter that was fed the previous morning, rather than the biga. That gets mixed up with eggs, golden syrup, water, and probably some other things I’m forgetting.  The flour mixture then gets sprinkled over the wet stuff.

Sponge and flour mixture
Sponge and flour mixture

In the picture below, the dough for the rye is in the plastic container, and the sponge & flour mixture are in the mixer bowl on top of it. I left it like this for an hour before moving it to the fridge, since we had to make a trip to the Toronto airport for my Nexus interview. While we were there, I picked up Panettone molds at Golda’s Kitchen in Mississauga. I also spent way too much money on clothes at the outlet mall. Totally worth it, though. 🙂

Resting, together
Resting, together

That evening when we got home, the sponge had just started to bubble through the flour layer, so it was time to mix up the dough.

Bubbling through the flour layer
Bubbling through the flour layer

Because I hadn’t planned ahead well enough, I had to microwave my butter to soften it before I could add it to the dough, tablespoon by tablespoon, but it turned out alright in spite of my poor planning.  Once the dough has been mixed up, you need a bunch of flour on the counter, so that you can spread the dough out into a rectangle-ish, then add all of the candied peel and the plumped up raisins.

That's a lot of fruit.
That’s a lot of fruit.

Knead the fruit in as best you can, without making a huge mess.

Giant sticky mess successfully avoided!
Giant sticky mess successfully avoided!

Put the dough into the container to rest, shape your rye, and take a cute family photo.

Sleeping cousins
Sleeping cousins

Once they’d sat on the counter for a bit (not very long, because I had to go to bed), I stuck them in the fridge.  The next morning, I did the business letter turns on the panettone dough, and then, because I had doubled the recipe, I split it into 2 ziploc bags and stuck it back in the fridge.

Before the last day in the fridge
Before the last day in the fridge

That night, as soon as we got home from the gym, I took the dough out of the bags, and semi-shaped it, then dumped it into the panettone molds.

Ready for the molds
Ready for the molds

At this point, there was no choice – I took a shortcut.  I put the loaves in the oven at 100 Fahrenheit, on the “bread proof” setting, to speed up the proofing process, so that there was a chance I could get it baked that night. I took them out when the very top of the dough was about level with the top of the mold.

After proofing in the oven
After proofing in the oven

The recipe then says to cut 1/2″ deep crosses in the top, with a sharp pair of scissors.

Crosses cut!
Crosses cut!

Now, into the oven, on the pre-heated baking stone, with ice thrown onto a sheet pan on the bottom of the oven, to create steam.  Halfway through baking, you take it out and add a foil tent, to prevent burning the top crust.

Halfway through, tenting with foil
Halfway through, tenting with foil

At this point, it smelled amazing, and looked beautiful. I couldn’t help but take a picture and show it to my baking buddies. 🙂

It's so pretty and smells divine!
It’s so pretty and smells divine!

It may not be the smoothest or most attractive panettone, and it sunk a little bit after coming out of the oven, but to me, it was perfection. I left it to cool in the molds overnight, then the next morning, I sliced one in half, to take a look at the crumb, and bring one and a half loaves to work. I, um, may have also had a slice with breakfast.

The crumb
The crumb

I chose the bigger, slightly more attractive loaf as Gilad’s “baking of the month” for January. In case you missed the story, he won the rights to a monthly item from this bakethrough, in a charity auction, at work. You may also recall that another co-worker had been bidding against him, until the (slightly absurd, IMO) price of $600 was reached.

Me & said coworker, chatting on IM while we *cough* may have been “paying attention” to a conference call:

Him: this cake is very light…
Me: cake? Oh, did Gilad share?
Him: yes, he brought by a slice
Me: It’s actually a yeast bread, but with lots of butter, eggs, and sugar.
actually, not that much sugar, now that I think of it. mostly butter. 😉
Him: This yeast bread with lots of butter, eggs, and sugar is very light…
what is the fruit?
Me: raisins soaked in grand marnier, along with candied orange peel (which I expected to be gross, but I actually like)
Him: orange peel… that’s what I am tasting
agree, it is refreshing
but not overpowering
this bread would go good with mixed fruit on the side
Me: It’s “supposed” to be served with drizzled chocolate glaze, but I got lazy.
Him: ooo, i think that would make it too sweet… that’s what I liked about it… perfect sweetness… now that could be because it’s morning and it felt breakfasty to me…
Me: Yeah, I had a slice at home with my granola & yogurt. 🙂
Him: that would be a good pairing too, yes

Turns out Gilad’s not a bad winner (I had no doubt), and is more than happy to share his spoils with the runner-up. On my side, I enjoyed this recipe, and can see myself making it again in the future. As I mentioned in the chatlog, I really didn’t expect to like the candied orange peel, which is part of why I chose to buy it, rather than put time & effort into making my own. Jay didn’t really like this one, so I ended up taking basically all of it to work, where it definitely seemed to be appreciated. I think I had a total of about 3 slices, throughout the week, and I found that the first bite of each slice was a slightly unexpected flavour, but by the time I finished each slice, I wanted more. A sign of a good result, I think!

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15 thoughts on “Golden Orange Panettone

  1. You are quite a bread connoisseur Kristina. I am very impressed that you made not just one but two panettone and also a rye sourdough at the same time! I bake Jim Lahey’s no knead bread every week so bread doesn’t scare me either. I love the family photos of your bread.

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  2. WOW!!! Kristina! I’m so impressed that you have a flour mill at home! and this is my first time seeing what Rye berries look like! Thank you for sharing! How does your flour mill look like too? Next post, please share a picture. I’ve never seen one before. Your panettone looks great. I’m still not sure how long does sourdough takes a proof? Like did yours took half a day to do so?

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  3. I think I would have ended up with rye panettone if I tried to make them both at once! Great looking bread.

    I think having your own mill counts as a serious bread maker. I’d love to see it too.

    Faithy – those rye berries made me think of your flour worm 🙂

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  4. I was zap just with the Panettone alone, could not even think of making anything else at the same time… not eve dinner (we ordered out!).. so kudos for doing ANOTHER bread at the same time… hats off to you.

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  5. This is incredible! Not only did you double the Panettone but tended to it along side its rye cousin. Amazing. Love your flour mill. I should check to see if Champion juicers have an attachment for that. Or Kitchenaids. Brilliant.

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  6. I agree with Catherine–I would have ended up with rye panettone!!! Great job on both! You are an artisan baker! The cross cuts on the top of your panettone look so much better than mine! I will have my post online tomorrow, hope you will take a look.

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  7. ב”ה

    Whoah, a mill. If you use it for bread do you have to let the flour dry for a few months?

    I think your crumb looks a little denser then some of the others, like mine. Perhaps its because we both took shortcut(s).

    I think I’ve started to find the orange peels addictive. 🙂

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  8. Mendy: I’m impatient and not as organized as I like to pretend, so… no. I don’t let it dry or age, I just use it immediately. 🙂

    There’s another picture of the mill here: http://www.eatsndrinks.ca/2013/08/17/stone-ground-whole-wheat-cookies/
    I’ll try and get a few in better light & more detail soonish. I love that there’s an organic mill (http://oakmanorfarms.ca/) less than a 15 minute drive from my house, where they sell both whole & processed grains.

    I don’t consider it artisan bread, considering that I just use a loaf pan, and I always add yeast as an insurance policy… I never give it long enough to “do its thing” to get the kind of beautiful open crumb that Faithy posted on FB the other day. Sandwich bread works for me, because it’s super forgiving, in general, and I can take care of it in a few minutes a day over the course of a weekend. That reminds me, I forgot to feed my starter this past weekend, so I should go do that. My starter isn’t super bubbly, and doesn’t give a lot of lift in the short time I generally give it, but it adds a lot of flavour.

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  9. I cheated and use the bakery’s levain to make the bread. I don’t understand the bubbly thing..the levain i was given doesn’t bubble at all. And our chef said that cos it is old levain so it will not bubble vigorously… i only notice a few bubbles on surface as opposed to no bubbles. I’m going to make my own sourdough with raisin starter and I will then compare.

    Catherine, those rye berries remind me of lavender. Not worms..lol..the worm in my KA flour was pale translucent orange color and bigger! Eww…

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  10. beautiful breads! and WOW, you have a flour mill! i am slightly envious although i don’t bake bread often (or at all) but i have always dreamed of milling my own rye and baking sourdough rye bread. and i think i say this every week, but your co-workers are so lucky to get the spoils from this bake through!

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  11. Kristina, oh my goodness you made a rye bread too wow! you are good cook and they look wonderful, overall your pictures are wonderful and so is your Write-up….P.S.sorry about the write up on the first one, I did it with the Google Voice and it came out differently.

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