Orange & Chocolate Panettone

Panettone
I’ve been wanting to make panettone to have on Christmas morning for years, so I have had this recipe tucked away in a binder, waiting for the Christmas when I would be able to accomplish it. I’ve wanted to make this panettone in particular because, although I like the idea of an assortment of fruits and nuts in a Christmas bread, it isn’t that easy to find them where I live, and my kids don’t go for it. So, I thought that a more familiar orange and chocolate flavor would appeal to the whole family.

This year became the year for the panettone, which meant I actually had panettone paper liners (hooray!) and made the time to make this bread. But the thought that this would appeal to everyone? Well, I was wrong. The kids really wanted nothing to do with this bread. On the happy side, the adults just loved it. It was fantastic.

I know that the difference between store-bought anything and its homemade counterpart is usually quite distinctive, but this one really shows off. The texture is so much lighter and fresher and brighter than any panettone I’ve had before. The flavors are rich and full and the bread showcases them perfectly. Hopefully, when I bring this out in holidays to come, the kids will be more on board! This recipe comes from a 2009 copy of Martha Stewart Living. Also, note that this bread needs to be started at least 24 hours in advance, to allow for an overnight rise in the fridge.

Orange & Chocolate Panettone

  • 1 T. plus 1 1/2 t. active dry yeast (two 1/4-ounce envelopes)
  • 1/3 c. whole milk, warmed
  • 14 oz. unbleached bread flour (about 3 cups), plus more for surface
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten, plus 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 t. coarse salt
  • 10 oz. (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 5 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 c. diced candied (glazed) orange peel (make your own!)
  • 1/2 t. pure almond extract
  • 1/2 t. pure orange extract
  • Vegetable oil, for bowl
  • 2 t. best-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pearl sugar, for sprinkling
  • 1/4 c. plus 2 T. sliced almonds, for sprinkling
  1. Sprinkle yeast over milk in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the dough-hook attachment. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle 2 ounces flour (about 1/2 cup) and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar over top. Cover with plastic, and let stand for 1 hour.

  2. Add remaining 12 ounces flour and 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, the beaten eggs, and the salt. Mix together on medium speed until dough forms a smooth, stiff ball, about 5 minutes. Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition.

  3. Switch to paddle attachment, and mix dough on medium-high speed for 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add chocolate, orange peel, and extracts. Mix until combined.

  4. Turn out dough onto a clean surface, and form into a ball. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic, and refrigerate overnight.

  5. Bring dough to room temperature [this can take a little while!!], and divide in half. Form each half into a ball; place each in a 5 1/4-by-3 3/4-inch paper panettone mold. Transfer to a baking sheet. Let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly beat remaining egg and the cocoa powder together. Brush glaze mixture onto panettone dough, and sprinkle with pearl sugar and almonds. Bake until golden brown, about 50 minutes.

  7. Remove molds from oven, and run a wooden skewer horizontally through the bottom of each panettone loaf. Hang loaves upside down by propping ends of each skewer on 2 large, heavy cans [this step prevents the loaves from collapsing inwards. I was rushed on time and innovative thinking, so I just flipped them upside down. It worked fine because the loaves didn’t raise above the wrapper edges]. Let cool completely.

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