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Monday, December 20, 2010

BBA Challenge #24 - Panettone

As you can see from the dates of all my pictures, I baked this bread much earlier in the year. I felt like it might be time to actually post this.


Panettone is one of those breads that I was not really looking forward to. It has all kinds of dried fruits and didn’t really look like it was up my alley from the pictures. Basically it looks like fruit cake except in a yeast bread form.

So maybe it’s timely that I’m posting this around Christmas-time.

The only thing is that fruit cake has never been the slightest bit appealing to me. Maybe it’s the pecans. Maybe it’s the candied fruit. May it’s the low proportion of cake to the other two ingredients. I don’t know. But me and fruit cake = meh.

So getting to this bread was not terribly exciting for me. However, as part of the challenge, I was interested to make it and see how it went.

I always look for new ways to use my wild yeast starter, and when I found out that this was one, I was pretty excited.

Wait, have I ever shown you a picture of my wild yeast (sourdough) starter? Well, like any proud mama, here she is…


Isn’t she just the cutest thing?!?! All those bubbles just make her beautiful, don’t you think?

Ahhh. But moving on.

I don’t know why, but I found it interesting that when I combined the vanilla, rum and orange extract that the mixture became cloudy. I felt a little like a mad scientist as it happened.



But I digress.

Next came the process of seeing what fruits I was going to use. I’ve already mentioned my aversion to the idea of candied fruits so clearly, it would be some blend of dried fruits; the exact blend would be dictated by what I had on hand. Ultimately, my fruit combination consisted of raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, dried dates, and dried apricots.

100_7838 And then came the process of actually making the dough and bread….


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The bread turned out beautifully.

To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t hate it when I tried it. And my husband actually said he liked it.




I made some of the dough into little muffin type rolls with the intent of doing the “Holiday Bread Brule” as described in the Grace Note on page 206. Without going into great detail, we’ll just leave it at… not so much. But the bread pudding it made was pretty good and would be a nice addition to any Christmas or holiday dessert menu.

I don’t know that this would be one that I would do a lot, but would definitely consider it for making bread pudding.

To see my other Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge blog posts and to read about the challenge, go here.


Chris said...

Nice pannetone! I haven't tried one yet myself, though it's on my list. It looks a bit like casatiello, my own attempt here:

I just bought BBA myself, and will be starting the "challenge" in 2011.

Happy baking!