Sunday, December 11, 2016

Not Your Nonnas Panettone

 When I saw this photo on author Elizabeth Minchilli's instagram, and she described it as panettone with ground coffee and chocolate (sans the dried fruit) from  Roscioli Caffe,  I was hooked.  It just so happened, I had 10 pounds of butter, 3 dozen eggs, leftover chocolate from a binge of toffee making, and a recipe that I'd developed for traditional panettone.  Since the dough needs a long slow rise in the refrigerator, I began to make it yesterday afternoon.
First things first, chopping the block of chocolate.  Originally 11 pounds, I've used over half of it already. Best to use a serrated knife to chop the chocolate.

Into the mixer
Adding the chocolate and espresso powder

Doesn't look like much at this stage, but it's well mixed
Into a bowl to rise on the counter
Ready for its slow refrigerated rise
Good Morning!

These needed about 2 hours to rise on the counter since it's cold in my kitchen today

Peeking into the oven about 45 minutes in


Not Your Nonna's Panettone
Makes three 6-inch panettone

1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
2 packages (3 tablespoons) dry active yeast
1/2 cup honey 
8 large eggs
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) melted and cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
7 cups all-purpose flour plus more for shaping
3 cups chopped chocolate (no chocolate chips---most of them don't melt)
1 large egg beaten with 2 tablespoons of water
Raw sugar for sprinkling over top

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle or dough hook, mix together the water, yeast and honey.  When the mixture is bubbling, add the eggs, butter, vanilla, and espresso powder.  Add the flour and chocolate, and mix until blended.  Turn into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours.  (Make sure you are using a large bowl, because this will rise out of a smaller bowl)
  2. Transfer the bowl to the refrigerator and let rise overnight.  
  3. Cook's Note:  At this point shape into 3 balls and freeze for up to 2 months.  Defrost in the refrigerator and proceed.  
  4. Coat the inside of 3 panettone bakers with non-stick cooking spray, and shape the dough into 3 balls. Put into the bakers, cover with plastic wrap and let rise on the counter until doubled.  Cook's note: today my kitchen was pretty cold, so it took 2 hours: depending on the atmospheric conditions in your kitchen this may take 1 hour.  
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, put the bakers onto a baking sheet and bake the panettone for 45 minutes, lower the heat to 300 and bake an additional 15 minutes, until the bread is crisp onthe outside, and sounds hollow when hit on the top.  Allow to cool completely. 
                                                                  Buon Natale tutti!

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