The December 2012 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by the talented Marcellina of Marcellina in
Cucina. Marcellina challenged us to create our own custom Panettone, a traditional Italian holiday bread!
The challenge this month was a joy to do. I had never tasted Panettone before. I have seen it in the windows of Italian bakeries at the holiday time of year but never had the courage to try it. I am not a fan of candied fruit and there are so many other tempting treats to divert my attention.
When this challenge appeared, I resolved to make my own candied fruit. I knew it would be an extra step in what appeared to be already many, many steps, but I wanted to really get into this challenge.
I made the candied fruit from kumquats, navel oranges and Meyer lemons. I sliced the peel from the Meyer lemons and the oranges. I sliced and seeded the kumquats. Then I blanched the fruits three times to help remove any bitterness. I made a sugar syrup with equal amounts of sugar and water, simmering it about 10 minutes before adding the fruit. I continued to simmer for about 20 minutes. I drained the fruit through a strainer and spread the fruit on a rack, leaving it to set for about two days. Whew! I know, it was a labor of love for sure. But I grew to love candied kumquats and must admit to a bit of snacking during this slow progression.
|Blanch three times|
|Cook in sugar syrup|
I used the homemade candied fruits along with sultanas for the fruit. One bit of advice: Use a sharp knife to chop the candied fruits...the food processor is not up to the job.
|Not working :(|
click on RECIPE for the Panettone. Marcellina has given a really wonderful recipe that turns out a beautiful bread. One slight variation I made was an Espresso glaze for the topping. I added it after the Panettone had cooked and cooled. It gave the Panettone a nice richness.
Otherwise I followed Marcellina's recipe to the letter. She did a great job of testing for us and you can rely on her instructions.
Since it has turned downright cold here in New England, I allowed the dough to rise a little longer, and used my heating vent for some added boosting. I would like to give a shout out to my sweetest Lab, Pebbles, for not helping herself to the dough that was well within her grasp.
|I am a good girl here in chilly Boston.|
The final test was my dear friend, Karen, who knows Panettone and gave it a big thumbs up. Hooray!
Happy Holidays to all of you!