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Modern Baker: Time-Saving Techniques for Breads, Tarts, Pies, Cakes and Cookies
by Nick Malgieri
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Mystic Nativity, 1500
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(Italian Christmas Bread)
How to Bake: Complete Guide to Perfect Cakes,
Cookies, Pies, Tarts, Breads, Pizzas, Muffins...
by Nick Malgieri, 1995, HarperCollins
cake, 8 to 10 servings
1/2 teaspoons (1 envelope)
active dry yeast
cup unbleached all-purpose flour
tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted
teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
teaspoons vanilla extract
tablespoon white rum
large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks,
at room temperature
cups unbleached all-purpose flour
cup (about 3 ounces) each
diced candied orange peel,
dark raisins or currants,
and golden raisins
tablespoons unsalted butter,
melted, for finishing
9-inch-diameter x 3-inch-deep springform pan, buttered and floured
Italy, panettone is the traditional Christmas bread – offered when
drop in throughout the holiday season, served for breakfast
and sometimes filled with pastry cream or chocolate to
make a fancy dessert.
Though in Italy panettone is prepared in some pastry shops, most often,
it comes from the same industrial bakeries that market their
United States – Motta, Alemagna, and Tre Marie, to name
Panettone, whether prepared in a pastry shop or a factory, is usually made
a type of sourdough known as lievito madre or lievito naturale
(mother yeast or natural yeast) rather than the manufactured yeast which
is a by-product of beer making. Lievito madre is a combination of flour,
water, and a natural yeast-rich source, such as grape skins or hops, which
cause fermentation. Enzymes and
acids that form during the fermentation of
the lievito madre (but not when manufactured yeast is used) retard
staling, moisture loss, and mold.
The following recipe is for a panettone alla casalinga, or home-style
made with yeast. Though it is not difficult to prepare, do take
the following precautions, Make sure all ingredients are at room
temperature; cold butter
eggs may cause the dough to ‘break’ or
separate, and make a coarse-textured panettone. Be careful not to let the
dough overferment, either after it is mixed
in the pan, or the
panettone will fall when it is baked. Test for doneness
or skewer after about 40 minutes – overbaked panettone is
1. To make the sponge, in a small saucepan over a low flame, heat the
milk until it is just warm, about 110 degrees [F.] Remove from the heat
and pour into a small bowl; whisk in the yeast. Stir in the flour until
smooth. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow the sponge
rise at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
To make the dough, use a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle,
beat the butter until it is soft and light, then add the salt, sugar,
lemon zest, vanilla, and rum. Continue beating until light and smooth,
about 5 minutes.
Combine the eggs and yolks and beat a third into the butter
mixture; continue to beat until the mixture is smooth. On the lowest
third of the flour and beat until it is absorbed. Scrape the
sides of the
and paddle and add another third of the egg mixture,
the flour. Finally, add the remaining egg mixture.
smooth, then scrape the bowl and beat in the remaining flour
is absorbed. Scrape
the sponge into the mixer bowl and beat on
lowest speed for about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and
slightly elastic. Beat in the candied
4. Butter a bowl and turn the dough out into it. Turn the dough so the
top is buttered. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow
the dough to
rise at room temperature for up to 1 1/2 hours, or until
Stir the dough with a rubber spatula to deflate it and scrape it
into the prepared pan. Butter a piece of plastic wrap and drape loosely
pan, buttered side in. Allow the dough to rise again at room
1 hour, or until it reaches the top of the pan.
When the dough has almost reached the top of the mold, set a rack
in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees [F.]
When the dough has risen completely, uncover and place in the oven.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until the dough is well risen and deeply
colored, then cover the top loosely with a piece of aluminum foil and
continue baking for
20 to 30 minutes longer, or until a thin knife
inserted in the center emerges without any dough sticking to it.
Cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes, remove the side of the
pan, and slide the panettone off the pan base to a rack. Paint it all
with the melted butter and allow it to cool completely.
Serve for breakfast, brunch, or tea.
It also makes good French
Wrap cooled panettone in several layers of
retain maximum freshness. Panettone
may be frozen for 1 month.
dry panettone makes excellent toast.
Swedish Holiday Rye Bread
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