8 December 2008

Chocolate Panettone

When I spotted the Chocolate Panettone in Origami Baskets the other week, I had to rejoice - another "cheaty" recipe not involving sourdough and a solution to the problem of not being able to find proper panettone moulds in the shops. Two in one!

And so, I set out to get all ingredients - including the brown wrapping paper!

I followed the amounts on the Wild Yeast Blog as much as I could, but I think I need new scales - the ones I have are getting more and more random. They started off by flicking between all sorts of numbers if the microwave happened to be on at the same time. Actually microwaves do leak loads of nasty waves. But now the scales have started flicking also when the radio is on, or the dish washer/washing machine which are both at the far side of the room. So who knows how accurate I managed to measure things up. The only thing I changed was that I used fresh yeast, now that I know it's readily available from the supermarket, it's just too tempting to use. For the starter dough, I used 12 g and for the final dough 6 g.

As the dough was spinning around in the kneading machine with me beaming over it as long strings formed in the dough, I kept thinking this is gonna be great. Actually most of the dough seemed to be stuck to the walls of the mixer bowl.

While the dough, divided into three balls was resting, I made the baskets. After 30 minutes, the balls had swollen quite a lot and seemed a lot bigger than the ones on Susan's post. I should have made a fourth basket and divided the dough in four. I put the skewers in, at which point Lundulph came in to see what I was up to and gave them a suspicious look.

So, I put the dough into the baskets, then into the oven with a flat Pyrex dish at the bottom of the oven and I kept pouring steaming hot water every now and then into it. And here's where I went wrong. Despite Susan saying explicitly to what stage the dough should be allowed to rise, I went for the 3 h wait and so they went well over the top, by the time I got round to glazing and baking.


Anyway, I preheated the oven on gas mark 4 and reduced to 3, which is 170 degrees C, slightly lower than the recommended 350 degrees F. 20 minutes later all three looked like they'd barely noticed it getting warm in the oven. I gave them another 30 minutes, still no difference. I moved the rack to the middle and raised to gas mark 5 and I baked them for another 20 odd minutes.

I had also not worked out the hanging contraption, so very quickly I put two chairs back to back and placed our mop and a curtain pole over them and fixed them in with some blutack. Susan is right, the panettones are barely out of the oven and they start sinking in. Besides because of the over-proofing, they didn't really rise much beyond the proofing height.

This took most of the day and I left them to cool overnight.

From above:


From below:


Yes, they went messy once I brushed the glaze on. That was a tasty glaze, I had quite a lot left over.

Then the result - perfect panettone texture - very light. Sadly also extremely dry and crumbly, that's the over-baking, along with the burnt crust - it had caramelised.

But this is definitely a keeper recipe, I just need to work out the oven bit.


Susan said...

I'm so glad you made this! Sorry you had trouble with the baking time -- all ovens are different so I guess experimentation is a good and necessary thing. One thing you might try to prevent the overproofing: after I preshape the dough into balls and let it rest 30 minutes, I degas it again when shaping into the final ball.

Caramella Mou said...

Hi Susan, I'll definitely need to experiment on this one. My dear hubby actually wanted me to start straight away :-)