Monday, January 19, 2015

TBB - Golden Orange Panettone sans Chocolate Sauce

I was really looking forward to this week's challenge for Rose's Alpha Bakers. The Golden Orange Panettone, our first "bread" recipe of the bake-along. I baked my first Panettone a few years ago with Jenn, blogger behind Knitty Baker and also one of Rose's Alpha Bakers. We baked it together (virtually). It turned out really good. You can find my blog post and recipe here.

A couple weeks ago, Marie, our fearless group leader, referred to me as Miss I-Never-Met-a-Recipe-I-Couldn't-Change Hanaa. And so this week too, I didn't want to disappoint:

  • I "Hanaa-tized" the Panettone by applying a Moroccan twist. I added orange blossom water and 1 tsp crushed anise seeds. There's a sweet Moroccan roll called Krachel which has this flavor profile, and I really like it.
  • Since my dried fruit was very plump already, I skipped the soaking step, and used 1 Tbsp of orange blossom water to replace the "drained liquid" from the raisins.
  • Instead of candied orange peel, I used the zest of 2 oranges and 75 grams of dried cranberries. I also increased the amount of golden raising to 50 grams.
  • I also ended up baking the Panettone in a tube pan which reduced the baking time and the risk of the bread sinking after baking. I just could not afford any chances to have this bread fail after working on it for 5 days.
  • Some shortcuts were taken where necessary and applicable :o)

Both hubby and I were very pleased with the end result:

Panettone with golden raisins, dried cranberries, orange zest and anise seeds.

The biga was a bit too stiff so I added a bit more water to loosen it up. I did this before going to bed and in the morning, I stuck the container in the fridge for its 2 day nap.

Biga after the 2-day nap
For the sourdough starter, I opted for the "2 hour" option, so I could make the full dough the same day.

I prefer to have my dough kneaded in my bread machine instead of my KA mixer. After 10 minutes of kneading, it was still incredibly soupy. And I hadn't even added the butter yet!! I gave in and added about 3 heaped Tbsp of bread flour. After a couple minutes, it started to look like a dough. A very soft and sticky dough, which is what I was looking for.

Those tiny specks are anise seeds

A very soft and sticky dough that didn't clear all sides. Perfect!
Hubby is not a huge fan of butter and I knew that 1+ stick of butter could not be hidden, so I decided to reduce the butter to a total of 3 Tbsp. In addition, I added 1 Tbsp of oil. I find that it keeps bread dough nice and soft.

I like eggs and the magic within them that makes baked goods so fluffy, light and tasty, but I dislike an overly egg-y smell or taste (for example, I can't do lemon curd). So I used 2 egg yolks in the starter but in the final dough, I used one whole XL egg to substitute the 3 egg yolks.

After the dough was done mixing, I sat it by our fireplace for 30 min. I gave it a business letter fold, and into the fridge it went until the next day.

I took it out of the fridge, kept the dough in the container and let it sit at room temperature for an hour. Then I gently inverted it and then inverted it again, so the top of the dough would remain on top. With my finger, I poked a hole in the middle and then gently stretched it to fit around the core of my tube pan.

The dough then sat in the microwave (turned off) with a cup of boiling water for about 1.5 hours before it went into the oven.

Ready for the oven
Given that I was using a tube pan, I knew my bread would bake faster than a traditional Panettone. After 30 minutes, I checked the temperature. It was 192 F. I prefer my breads to be 200 - 205 F, so I gave it another 5 minutes.

Golden brown and delicious!

For fun I wanted to measure the inside of the bread. Almost 4". My pan's diameter is about 10", so not bad.

One of the hardest thing to do was wrap the cooled bread in plastic wrap and not touch/cut/eat it until at least 8 hours later. But boy, was it worth the wait!

Great crumb. Perfect slice!

Love the colors in there. Bon appetit!

Final thoughts/tips:
  • I'm pleased to announce that hubby liked it (after giving me a hard time about how "long" it took to make). He tried not to like it because he didn't want me to spend "two days" (he doesn't know about the 3-day biga, shhhh) to make another "fruit bread". When I asked about the bread's flavor, he said, "although the fruit makes the bread sweet enough, I still detect a hint of sourness". I have to admit, that's very perceptive of him, especially since he has a cold. He gave it an 8.5 out of 10 rating. Yay!
  • I loved the "Moroccan" Panettone!! The smell is amazing, very fruity, and not yeasty at all. The aroma of the orange blossom water was subtle and complementary, and so were the anise seeds. The texture is bread-like but not dense. If you want to kick things up a notch, or five, you should toast it. The crispy exterior against the soft interior does me in every time. I also find that heating up the bread intensifies the various flavor profiles in the bread. Yum!
  • Although I considered making a Panettone "sandwich" with 2 slices of bread and a nut-free chocolate spread in between, I really felt that chocolate wasn't necessary and could potentially overpower all the other subtle flavors which were already playing so nicely together.
  • Don't forget to check out the Round-Up to see how the other Alpha Bakers fared this week.


  1. I like all your changes!! Esp. you had extra raisins I noticed! :) And so smart to bake in tube pan!

    1. Thanks Peggy! Yes, I loved the extra fruit in there. The tube pan cuts down on baking time, so... time saved :o)

  2. LOL, I too made changes this week...Your Panettone looks great! Love the Moroccan twist. Rose and Woody must be tired of all the change we make!

  3. Hanaa-tized! I love it :) I'm really attracted to baking the panettone in a tube pan; that just seems like it makes sense.

  4. Lots of interesting ideas for changing up panettone...I'm taking notes. :)

  5. The tube pan was a good idea. That's what I should have done. Your loaf looks perfect and so pretty with the cranberries.

  6. Ah, fennel, a woman after my own heart. How I adore it. It would a be wonderful change for sure. Your Panettone looks beautiful. You can really see how experienced you are with the changes you make.

  7. I love it too.. Hanaa-tized is a good thing too. Your ideas are always spot on. The end product looks incredible.

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  9. Hannah, I've been looking forward to see how your bread turned out and very glad it was a success! I was so scared the tube pan might not work even though it was on the KA site. I only pointed it out to Butteryum because she had the paper tube molds. I love your flavor combination. How much of each did you put in? Anise is one of my favorite things. Your crumb looks perfect.

    1. Ooops, I see you did list the amount of cranberries!

  10. Hanaa, you are courageous! I always closely follow the recipe the first time I make anything. It looks delicious! Perhaps the Moroccan twist isn't such a distant stretch. I read that Sicilian food is influenced by the Arabian occupiers in the 10-11th century...

  11. Looks lovely--I feel like anise or other seeds would be a nice bite to balance the orange overwhelm.

  12. Hannaa-tized - brilliant. The anise is intriguing too. Love how it turned out in the tube pan.

  13. I'm loving the color of the craisins. Might have to add a few to my panettone. Absolutely beautiful!

  14. ב''ה

    Great nickname from Marie. Your changes are always appealing. The cranberries give it such a nice color.


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