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 only panettone I had tried previously was the commercial kind, which I found to be kind of dry and tasteless. They also tend to be very expensive. However, my friend Tim and his family love panettone, so I was prepared to be open minded about this recipe and give it a go:
And I was glad I did. Don't get me wrong - making this panettone is a whole day job, not with constant attention, but certainly with time for the 5-6 hours worth of rising time required over three different rises. However, the end result is a fluffy, tasty panettone that puts the commercial ones in the shade.
Instead of candied orange peel, I used cranberries for colour - not traditional perhaps, but visually and taste-wise, a good move.
I almost came to grief when cooling my panettone. Marcellina's recipe suggests that you should demould the panettone from the tin (I used a souffle mould) and cushion it on towels on its side to cool. This was a bad move - the panettone cracked under its own weight where it rested on the bench, so I hastily righted it and let it cool in the usual way.
I liked this yeasted bread-cake hybrid, and Tim was the recipient of a generous piece for his family.
To see what the other Daring Bakers made of this recipe, view the slide show on the Daring Bakers website.
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and Happy New Year!