Search Results

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Alpha Bakers: Golden Orange Panettone with Chocolate Sauce

I love panettone. Before I knew how to bake, a long time ago when my oven was used for pots and pans storage, I used to get panettone at Whole Foods. They always have a huge tower of it around the holidays. I thought it was the best thing. It hails from Italy so it must be the best, si? (little that I know that years later I would learn that it is the best when it hails from Rose Levy Beranbaum). Back in 2011 Hanaa and I wanted to do a virtual bake a long and we made a recipe from (Hanaa, do you remember? :). For comparison, I also made Rose's Panettone recipe from the Bread Bible. The allrecipes version was not good but Rose's was awesome.

The panettone recipe in the Baking Bible is different than the one in the Bread Bible. Both recipes uses golden raisins, but the Bread Bible version used chestnuts vs. this version using candied orange peel. The Baking Bible version uses golden syrup and has an extra step of making a biga 3 days beforehand and also has more steps in the dough preparation. It was too long ago for me to remember which one is better, but I can't imagine anything better than the Baking Bible's version. My husband said it best, "it is perfect." Funnily, he asked why I made the full recipe. I told him it is because I know it is going to be really good so I have to.

Speaking of candied orange peel, I made my own and blogged about it last week. Here is a photo of them.

For once I am making the full recipe and I could not find the pannetone paper for the full recipe (oh the irony!). The sources page in The Baking Bible references Qualita Paper Products but I don't need 1,200 panettone mold. Much as I love it, it will take many many many lifetimes to use them. King Arthur has them but they are out of stock. I tried Pastry Chef central but my search yield no result. Amazon sells them in a pack of 6, so more reasonable quantity, but it is 6.75 inch x 4.25 inch. I know I can use souffle dish or coffee can but I have neither. Then I ended up at Sur La Table's website and they have 5.25 inch one and sells them individually. Though the sizing is still off but I like the idea of only buying what I need. Plus they have small ones (2.75 inch bottom) so I figured I could bake the leftover batter there.

I am a sucker for cute things. When I went to Sur La Table to get the panettone paper, I want to buy everything in their baking section. I managed to refrain myself, until I get to the cashier and saw these Le Creuset espresso cups. I got two of them.... they would go so well with the panettone (said the evil voice in my head).

This is an excellent recipe. It is not difficult to make, if you consider a 5 day process not difficult, that is. When a good friend of mine, D, called me a couple of weeks ago to wish me happy birthday, she asked how the baking club is going. I told her it is going well and proceed to tell her about the Golden Panettone we plan to make. When I get to "it takes 5 days to make" part of my story, she gasped in shock and asked why on earth it would take that long. I daresay she would consider this is difficult, judging from her reaction.

This panettone, like most good bread, requires you to make a biga 4-5 days in advance. I am grateful it does not require the making of a sourdough starter, as I killed the one and only starter I've ever attempted. My favorite part of the recipe is where we have to macerate golden raisins in Triple Sec. I swear by the time we finished this bake-a-long, you all gonna think I'm a drunk, I get so excited whenever liquor is involved. (I promise I'm not - but I love macerated dried fruits or liquored cake).

I have to admit I was a little annoyed that this bread requires 5 days. My annoyance is because I am impatient. I want the panettone now! But as I was making the dough sponge and taking photos of the step-by-step process, I realized I am really enjoying it. It is sooo nice to have really detailed instructions. Mix on low speed for 1 minute. Mix on medium speed for 5 minutes. And the Rose went to detailed what the dough will look like after 5 minutes. It will not clean the sides of the bowl yet but it will after you've added all the butter. And that is exactly what happened so I knew I was on the right track! It really takes out all the guess work.

One real annoyance is how the golden raisins and orange peel are not as evenly distributed. I didn't cut the orange peel as small as I should, maybe this is why - but the raisins aren't even either. I'm wondering if I should knead them even longer. Or perhaps next time I will try adding it to the mixer and have the machine mix it in, instead of doing it by hand.

Day 1. Biga.

Mix the flour, yeast, and water. Cover and let marinate at room temperature for 6 hours or so until double in size.

8 hours later.

The biga then went to rest for 3 days in the fridge.

Day 2. Dream about panettone.

Day 3. Combine the golden raisins, triple sec, and vanilla in a glass container with lid. I debated on getting the orange oil and decided not to. I know it adds so much flavor but the last time I got orange oil I only used it once so it felt like such a waste to buy it for once or twice usage.

Day 4. Make the dough (sponge).

Add water to the mixer bowl and cut the biga and drop them in = swimming biga.

Add the flour, egg yolks, golden syrup, and yeast.


Dry ingredients.

Add to the mixture.

2 hours later...

Add more yolks, liquid from the macerated golden raisins, and golden syrup. Marie, when are we going to make a recipe with egg whites? I have 8 of them in the freezer.

Mix on low speed for a minute, then on medium speed for 5 minutes.

Dough almost cleaned the sides of the bowl after adding butter.

We have gluten!

Golden raisins and candied orange peel.

Rectangle dough.


Knead until incorporated.

I don't have a 3 liter container but I have a 4 liter one.

Rising environment.

2 hours later.

Refrigerate for an hour. And then another hour.

Pat the dough into a rectangle.

The first business letter fold.

The second business letter fold.

Store in a gallon size bag overnight.

Day 5. Baking day.

This is the part where I realized I did a big OOPS. I am making the full recipe but using a smaller panettone mold so technicallyI should have made less quantity or separate the dough earlier. Well, too late for that. So I weighed the dough and cut about 20% of it and bake these pieces in a small panettone mold and a brioche mold. Next time should cut out/separate less dough so the panettone will be higher above the paper - like Rose's in her out-bakes post.

After 3 hour rising.

"La Brioche"

I pried open the brioche an hour after baking. It was already cooled by then. I didn't wait the 8 hours knowing it would not survive overnight.

Day 6. Make the chocolate sauce.

I used leftover heavy cream (previously frozen) from the Chocolate Cuddle Cake and leftover chocolate from making the chocolate curls.

I didn't really want to make the chocolate sauce. The panettone taste good as it is, the chocolate would be overkill (and indeed it was too much with the chocolate). But I want to try my hand at making the animated pictures of pouring chocolate.

Close up shot of the crumb.

Alpha Bakers is a group of bakers who are baking through The Baking Bible, Rose Levy Beranbaum's latest cookbook. Come check out the rest of the group at Rose's Alpha Bakers.

Click here for a full listing of all the recipes we are baking.


  1. Lovely pictures, Jenn! And I love your animated picture at the heading, almost expected the sauce to run out of the screen! Jeannette

    1. Thanks Jeannette! No sauce was able to escape. Though, that gives me an idea for my next animation :).

  2. I can't believe you made the whole recipe! I agree with you about the chocolate.

    1. And I already ate 1/2 of it in 2 days. I'm freezing the rest before I OD'ed on it.

  3. Awesome write up Jenn. I totally skipped the chocolate, instead we drizzle other stuff on it (Tom did honey) and I some power sugar.. but I did eat a piece and smoother it with Nutella.

    1. I hear Vicki said the you thought this is not sweet enough? Was your nonna's panettone sweeter?

  4. Lovely pictures as usual and the animated photo is great - particularly since it involves chocolate sauce. I found this way too easy to eat, and I forgot about the chocolate sauce. Half luckily made it to the freezer.

  5. ב''ה

    Looks great. I also made mine 'brioche'-style. I'm curious how you made the animated gif?

    1. Thanks Mendy. I took a series of consecutive shots and then upload them to this website: It creates the animated gif for you. Then you download it and upload it to your blog as a regular photo. Pretty cool.

  6. Wow Jenn! I love your gif photos! Your panettone looks awesome..and i love your mini ones too! The cups definitely matches..and a must buy of course! ;) I like how you wrapped your bowl in plastic bag too!

  7. Hi Jenn, Your final pic is beautiful. We seem to have taken the same doc shots, and had the same tear-it-open idea. I really enjoyed ready you post. Very sympatico.

  8. Great photos. Love the video at the beginning. I agree, Sur La Table is a dangerous place to shop. Too many cool things.

  9. Gorgeous! Great pictorial and opening chocolate sauce pouring! Those little cups are exquisite. Your orange peel turned out lovely.

  10. Hello there,
    Great foods!! Thank you so much for sharing these, we are truly inspired!!! We would like to add your blog to the Top Food Blog list in with over 7 million users worldwide... Your blog is impressively BEAUTIFUL and deserves to be included on the Top list!!

    We will feature your blog and create shout outs about your recipes to our fan pages.
    MyTaste is a social platform for foodies and blogs/sites owners like you and it helps to reach more people, get more visibility from the web and share/save foods and recipes. Some of them receive at least 10,000 visits from us on a weekly basis.

    If you’d like to be featured, expand your readership and JOIN TOP FOOD BLOGS, here's the link where you can add your blog to the list>> (Joining won't cost you any cents)
    Kind regards

  11. wow! you made a GIF! and the whole recipe! wow!

    beautiful photos, and you did a great job documenting the whole process. i like your day 2: dream about panettone.

  12. LOVE the video! You did a great job, Jenn! It seems that many of us use our microwaves as dough-rising boxes... I really love this recipe. Funny, when you see these projects through the eyes of friends who aren't baking enthusiasts, they really do seem daunting. Yet when we're in the midst of the process, it seems so do-able.

  13. Gorgeous bread! I love your baby brioche loaf! So cute and such a lovely crumb inside. I am not a fan of Panettone (at least the store-bought ones I've tried) so I skipped this week...however your candied orange peels are soooo beautiful and delicious-looking that I may have to try this loaf.

    BTW, drinking while baking is always allowed in my kitchen :)

  14. Fantastic! Love your photos, always. Great job.

  15. Day 2: dream about panettone.

    It took me ages to work about the photo was animated! Love it. Great write up and fab looking panettone.


Thank you so much for leaving comments.