Every year at Christmas time I buy an Italian Panettone. If you don’t know what a Panettone is, it’s a sweet bread that originated from Milan, that’s traditionally served at Christmas time. Usually it’s studded with candied fruits or raisins, but sometimes you can find one studded with chocolate chunks.
Panettone has sort of become a tradition in our house. We usually eat it sometime during Christmas eve with some coffee or a nice Vin Santo. The leftovers make for some great French toast on Christmas morning or maybe even a bread pudding for dessert later.
This year I decided to make my own Panettone instead of buying one. I was completely excited and up for the challenge. I decided to stud mine with chocolate chunks since I’m quite the chocolate lover. I used the chocolate I got from Chuao. They have such high quality chocolate that’s perfect for a bread like this.
Making Panettone takes a bit of time, but it’s all worth it in the end. Plus, you’ll have the pride in knowing that you made it all on your own. Everyone loved my Panettone. I received multiple compliments on it. The bread was soft on the inside with a slightly chewy crust. It turned out great!
1 pound (500g) all-purpose flour
2 envelopes dry yeast (about 7g or 0.25 ounce, each)
1/2 teaspoon salt
a pinch of nutmeg
zest of 1 orange (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
5 egg yolks
170g melted butter
1 cup (220ml) milk
100g bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
4 almonds, for the topping
4 teaspoons heavy cream, to brush the top
icing sugar, for the topping
Mix the melted butter with the milk and egg yolks, the mixture should be lukewarm.
In a large bowl of a stand mixer, combine the dry ingredients (flour, yeast, sugar, salt and nutmeg) and orange zest. Add the milk, butter, and egg mixture and mix with a dough hook for about 5 minutes or until well combined. Knead with your hands for about 1 minute, it should be soft and glossy. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover with a tea towel and let it rise in a 35°C / 95°F warm oven for about 90 minutes or until doubled in size. While the dough is rising, put the chocolate in a plastic container and keep it in the freezer.
Butter the inside of an 18cm / 7″ cooking pot (about 10cm / 4″ high). Cut a 15cm / 6″ wide strip of parchment paper, long enough to be wrapped around the inside of the pot with both ends overlapping generously. Butter the parchment paper on one side. Line the sides of the pot with the parchment paper (the butter side should be facing inwards). Push the overlapping ends of parchment paper together.
Punch the dough down and take it out of the bowl, give it a quick knead and mix in the cold chocolate with your hands. Form a ball and put it into the prepared pot. Carefully cover it with a light tea towel (on top of the parchment paper) and let the dough rise in the warm oven for another 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
Take the pot out and set the oven to 210°C / 410°F.
Brush the top of the dough with the cream and cut a cross into the surface with a sharp kitchen knife. Decorate with the almonds. Bake the Panettone for 10 minutes and turn the temperature down to 190°C / 375°F. Bake for 20 minutes, cover the top with a piece of aluminum foil if the top gets too dark, and bake for another 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to 170°C / 340°F and bake for another 10 minutes. Carefully take the pot out of the oven (it will be very hot!) and let the Panettone cool in the pot for at least 30 minutes or until it’s stable enough to cool on a wire rack. When it’s completely cool, dust with icing sugar.
Note: When the Panettone is taken out of the pot and cooled, it should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Recipe from Eat in my Kitchen