Thursday, December 27, 2012

Daring Bakers' December Challenge - Panettone


The December 2012 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by the talented Marcellina of Marcellina in
Cucina.  Marcellina challenged us to create our own custom Panettone, a traditional Italian holiday bread!

The challenge this month was a joy to do. I had never tasted Panettone before. I have seen it in the windows of Italian bakeries at the holiday time of year but never had the courage to try it. I am not a fan of candied fruit and there are so many other tempting treats to divert my attention.
When this challenge appeared, I resolved to make my own candied fruit. I knew it would be an extra step in what appeared to be already many, many steps, but I wanted to really get into this challenge.

I made the candied fruit from kumquats, navel oranges and Meyer lemons. I sliced the peel from the Meyer lemons and the oranges. I sliced and seeded the kumquats. Then I blanched the fruits three times to help remove any bitterness. I made a sugar syrup with equal amounts of sugar and water, simmering it about 10 minutes before adding the fruit.  I continued to simmer  for about 20 minutes. I drained the fruit through a strainer and spread the fruit on a rack, leaving it to set for about two days. Whew! I know, it was a labor of love for sure. But I grew to love candied kumquats and must admit to a bit of snacking during this slow progression.

The peel

Blanch three times
Cook in sugar syrup

I used the homemade candied fruits along with sultanas for the fruit. One bit of advice: Use a sharp knife to chop the candied fruits...the food processor is not up to the job.

Not working :(

Working :)

click on  RECIPE   for the Panettone.   Marcellina  has given a really wonderful recipe that turns out a beautiful bread. One slight variation I made was an Espresso glaze for the topping. I added it after the Panettone had cooked and cooled.  It gave the Panettone a nice richness.

Otherwise I followed  Marcellina's recipe to the letter. She did a great job of testing for us and you can rely on her instructions.

Friendly dough

Since it has turned downright cold here in New England, I allowed the dough to rise a little longer, and used my heating vent for some added boosting. I would like to give a shout out to my sweetest Lab, Pebbles, for not helping herself to the dough that was well within her grasp.

I am a good girl here in chilly Boston.
I found some really nice PANETTONE PAPERS. They were so perfect because I could bake and serve in the same container. I am not sure I will be making Panettone a lot and did not want to buy a pan so these disposable containers were the logical answer.

The final test was my dear friend, Karen, who knows Panettone and gave it a big thumbs up. Hooray!

Happy Holidays to all of you!


  1. Your dog is so sweet!
    Panettone looks amazing, great job on the challenge!

  2. Oh wow! An espresso glaze! That would be perfect. BTW, your dog is the cutest! Thank you for taking on the challenge. My warmest wishes.

  3. Good looking panettone and even cuter dog ;) Happy holidays

  4. Wow - candied kumquats - how exotic (and of course delicious!) The espresso glaze sounds delicious too - great job!


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