Week 8 brings us a wonderful bread – The Golden Orange Panettone with Chocolate Sauce. I have to confess that I’ve never had a Panettone before probably because I am not a huge fan of dried or candied fruit but I absolutely love making bread. Let’s just say that this recipe is what I would call EPIC! Five pages long and so many steps that I actually wrote my time line in the book. I should call this post The Week of the Panettone. Yup, the whole process took a week. There wasn’t a lot of work to do but a lot of time was spent babysitting the bread as it rose. Oh, and since the recipe called for candied orange peel, I decided to make that too. I’m too cheap to pay $20 for a little container of it.
So here we go. Sunday – make the biga. Biga is a pre-ferment used in a lot of Italian breads. Think sour dough starter. The thing is, it needs to be made in advance and in this case, 3 days in advance. Just flour, water and yeast.
Into the refrigerator it went for the 3 days after sitting 6 hours.
On Tuesday, I figured it was a good day to make the candied orange peel. I found an easy recipe on line and even though it wasn’t difficult, again, this took most of the afternoon.
Orange is my favorite color, by the way. I peeled the oranges then cut the peels into strips and boiled and drained them 3 times. Why 3 times? Hell if I know but that’s what the recipe said to do. After the third round of boiling and draining, I combined the sugar and water, brought that to a boil and put in the peels. They needed to simmer for about an hour or until the pith part of the peel became translucent. Some of the recipes I found said to scrape the pith away but I liked that the recipe I used said not too. Less work.
The orange looks like a giant paw print. Don’t you think?
Anyway, candied orange peel, done. Now it’s Wednesday and it’s time to combine the flour mixture to create dough starter or sponge and then the dough. To make the sponge, the biga was added into more flour, egg yolks, yeast, water and of course some Lyle’s Golden Syrup. I love that stuff! Rose said to use 78 grams of the biga but mine only weighed 75 grams.
I found that mixing the starter was pretty easy although I had some reservation about the biga getting incorporated but no problem. After all that was combined, I mixed together the dry ingredients of the actual dough. Time to put the dough to bed for 24 hours with it’s cute little flour blanket.
The week is just flying by! Now it’s Thursday and time to get things put together. I soaked the golden raisins the day before in Triple Sec and orange oil along with some vanilla. Drunken raisins! First I needed to mix the dough together and add the wet ingredients and butter.
Once that was done, it was finally time to put my candied orange peel where it was supposed to go along with the drunken raisins. Phew! This dough was so silky and smooth. I smile every time I work with dough because it just feels so nice in your hands. Formed it into a rectangle and put the peel and raisins on it, sealed it up and got ready for the first rise.
It took a little longer to double in size because my house isn’t that warm, I like it that way, but dough doesn’t. It took around 3 hours to double but it did and then into the fridge for an hour.
After a total of 2 hours in the refrigerator, it was finally time to fold the dough into a nice little package.
Into a plastic bag it goes for a nice rest in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. I think besides loving PW (plastic wrap), Rose really likes gallon size freezer bags.
So now it’s Saturday. Are you still with me? Good because I’m almost finished. Rose suggested to bake the panettone in a paper panettone mold about 6×4″ but I couldn’t find them anywhere and really didn’t feel like ordering them. She also said you could use a coffee can but didn’t have that. Or you could use a soufflé dish. Nope, didn’t have that either. Hmm, what in the hell can I use. Well, I have a little 6″ cake pan and I have flashing. Yup, the same stuff I’ve used in a couple other recipes. Off to the basement to cut a piece of flashing about 4″ wide by about 19″ long. I paper clipped the ends then lined the bottom and sides with parchment. Would it work? It better.
Time to take the dough out of the fridge and shape it to fit in the “mold”. Once the dough was in the mold, it needed to rise again until it almost reached the top of the mold. Mine took around 4 hours, again because it’s not too warm in the house. The last hour or so, I set the mold on top of the cable box. Nice and warm there. Actually, I do have the Brod and Taylor proofing box but I was too lazy to dig it out.
Finally, time to bake! Woo hoo! I made a cross cut on the top of the dough and into the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, a foil tent went on top and baked for another 30 minutes. I took it’s temperature, talk about babysitting, and it wasn’t quite done so another 10 minutes to go. Done perfectly! I took it out to cool then unmolded it after about 30 minutes. I didn’t have a pillow, like Rose suggested to sit it on, really? A few towels will work just fine and there it sat until it was completely cool.
The last step was to make a chocolate sauce which was pretty easy so no pictures. It’s a drizzle of chocolate.
So what’s the verdict? Since I’ve never had panettone before, I wasn’t sure what to expect and with the orange peel and raisins, I had my reservations but oh lord, is it good!! I used a couple slices for my beauty shot and when I was done shooting the picture, I devoured the 2 pieces in about 5 minutes. So moist, not too sweet and really with all the orange peel in it, not overwhelming at all. Yeah, it’s kind of a pain to make and I totally understand why it’s only made around the holidays but I would definitely give up another week to make it again. My best buddy Jenifer stopped by and I gave her a couple pieces. Her reaction? It’s wonderful! She really liked the orange in it too. Thanks for a wonderful recipe, Rose. It’s a winner!
Next week will be easy, hell anything would be easy after this week but it will be Gingersnaps. Yup, more cookies but that’s not a bad thing.