Well, since christmas is around the corner and panettone is a tradition, here it goes.
In my opinion, it makes for great gifts.
I made it a bit different, but used Susan's recipe as a guide.
For the sponge:
1 1/5 cup (200g) all purpose flour
2/5 cup (100g) water at room temperature
1 1/4 teaspoon dried yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
(Cup measure: 240ml)
I stirred all of the ingredients together until smooth, and let it rest for two hours in a warm spot.
To guarantee that, I covered the bowl in plastic and placed it inside the oven (turned off).
For the dough:
All of the sponge
1 egg yolk
4 tablespoons cold milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon dried yeast
1 cup all purpose flour
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons butter at room temperature
200g nuts, dried fruits, chopped chocolate or whatever seems like a good filling for your panettone
(Cup measure: 240ml)
I added the yolk/ milk/ salt/ yeast to the sponge and stirred throughly with a wooden spoon. Next, I added the flour and started kneading inside the bowl until I could shape the dough as ball.
So I kneaded it for two minutes more over the slightly floured counter. I added one tablespoon sugar and kneaded for two minutes more. I went on like that, one tablespoon sugar at a time, until I used all of it.
After I was done kneading, I took the windowpane test (which is explained in detail in this post).
The idea is to have an almost fully developed gluten.
This is the time when you add the butter. What I did was shape the dough as a rectangle, place the butter in the middle of it, and carefully knead. It didn't actually make a difference - the whole thing turned into a buttery mess. So I kneaded, and kneaded, and kneaded, and eventually the butter was incorporated into the dough, which became smooth again and lost the mess status.
I took the windowpane test again, gluten was alright. Good.
I added 200g chopped almonds, dark and light raisins, sunflower seeds and peanuts, kneaded a little more just to incorporate the filling.
I placed the dough back in the bowl and let it rest, covered, for 10 minutes.
So I cut it in three equal parts, and one of these I cut in halves. I put all of the individual doughs in individual bowls and let rest for 30 minutes inside the oven (turned off).
Before they had raised throughly, I pierced a wooden skewer on the bottom of each paper pan*. This serves to hang the panettones when they come out of the oven after baking. This way they can cool upside down and won't sink.
Well, when the 30 minutes were gone, I shaped each dough portion as a ball, and placed them inside the respective paper pans.
All of them went into the oven, turned off, where they were left to rest for 3h 30min. To make it right, Susan says the panettone should rise in a hot steamy environment. I arranged that leaving a cup with hot water inside the oven beside the pans. I changed it every hour, so that the steam would be constant.
I closed the windows to guard the panettones from the wind, and took them out of the oven so I could pre-heat it (180oC). As you can see, one of them went flat, because I accidentally pricked it.
Later on, once it was baking, the top rose again like nothing ever happened.
I baked them for 30 or 35 minutes. The idea is to get nice brown tops.
When taking the panettones out of the oven, I immediately hang them upside down, resting the skewer ends on the back of chairs and one side of the table. They should remain like that for 2 hours at least.
After completely cool, I packaged them in plastic bags and tied ribbons.
* I bought these pans very cheap at chocolândia, a bakers supply store. Soon I'll write a post about an origami pan you can make at home to use if you don't find these. I haven't tried to bake in the origami ones yet, but as soon as I do that, I'll let you know.