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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Panettone: Allrecipes vs. RLB

The contenders:

Last month Hanaa asked me if I wanted to bake together. She suggested bread and mentioned panettone. I jumped to the idea right away. I have been wanting to bake panettone since last year but never got around to it.

We agreed on a recipe from allrecipes website. It has good reviews, the bread in the picture looks good, and it looked pretty easy.

Hanaa pointed out that the bread would be huge, so I made 1/4 recipe. I used a combination of raisins, sour cherries, and cranberries. I've also added orange oil, lemon zest, and vanilla.

As you can see from the picture below, it came together nicely.

And look how much it's grown after 30 minutes rising time.

After baking.

Rose Levy Beranbaum's Panettone from the Bread Bible:
A week before Hanaa and I were scheduled to bake the Panettone, I decided to make Rose's version.

The idea is to sort of compare and see which one's better.

Rose's recipe used canned chestnuts, which I think is unusual. I decided to replace the chestnuts with the same weight of raisins, sour cherries, and cranberries. I also added orange oil in addition to lemon zest.

The rest of the recipe and method I followed exactly.

If you are wondering why the panettone is so short, it is because when I start making the recipe, out of habit, I halved all the ingredients, planning on making 1/2 recipe. Only after I put everything together, I realized that this recipe makes a small panettone, baked in 6 inch pan. Exactly the pan I was gonna use. Except mine is 1/2 recipe. So resulting in a wide and short panettone *grin*.

Judging from how they look visually, one would guess the allrecipes one, right? It has a nice brown crust all over the pan. Not to mention that it is so tall.

Well, the allrecipes one was a bust. It tasted okay, but that was it. It tasted just like plain bread. None of the things I've added in there helped the flavor. And I'm not a big fan of the texture. It was not as airy as I want it to be.

Rose's panettone has all the same filling (raisins, sour cherries, cranberries, lemon zest, orange oil, vanilla) and it has a lot of flavor. I can tasted the zesty-ness of the orange and lemon. And it smells so fragrant from the orange oil. The texture of this bread is everything I want a panettone to be. Light and airy.

The method between the two breads are different. The allrecipes bread is made in 1 day. Rose's bread is made over the course of 2 days, as it requires overnight (or up to 3 days) resting in the refrigerator. I think this is what gives the bread flavor. Of course the downside is that it's not one of those breads you can whip up quickly.

But it is so worth it, considering I ate Rose's panettone in 3 days.

The allrecipes panettone, sadly, met its demise in the trash can yesterday. After sitting on the counter for a week, barely eaten.

Rose 1. Allrecipe 0.


  1. Hi Jenn. This post was a great idea! I'm not at all surprised Rose's recipe won the taste test.

  2. Hi ButterYum, I am not surprised that Rose's recipe won as well. She really is the standard, isn't she? :)

  3. Jenn,
    I really enjoyed your comparison of two recipes. What a refreshing idea!
    I hope your holidays are going well.

  4. I like your comparison post. Visually speaking, AllRecipes won, but we all know what's really important: taste! Will put Rose's recipe on my todo list.
    For those interested in seeing my Panettone post, it can be found here:

  5. Great post! So interesting! Perhaps i'm so used to the commerical panettone that both of them don't really look like panettone to me either.


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