Overnight Panettone

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Overnight Panettone

star rating (31) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

This traditional Italian holiday bread will stay fresh longer when it's made with an overnight starter.

Biga (Overnight Starter)
3/4 cup (3 1/8 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/16 teaspoon yeast (just a pinch)
1/3 cup (2 5/8 ounces) water

all of the biga (above)
2 1/4 cups (9 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup (2 ounces) water
2 large eggs
1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) unsalted butter
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia flavoring OR 1 teaspoon vanilla + 1/8 teaspoon orange oil
2 1/4 teaspoons SAF Gold instant yeast OR 1 tablespoon instant yeast
1/3 cup (2 1/4 ounces) sugar
1/2 cup (3 ounces) golden raisins
1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) slivered dried apricots
1/2 cup (2 ounces) dried cranberries or flavored fruit bits
1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) dried pineapple, chopped
2 tablespoons orange or lemon zest

The Biga: Combine the biga ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl, cover, and allow them to rest overnight (8 to 12 hours).

Dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients except the fruit, and mix and knead them together—by hand, mixer or bread machine—till you've made a soft, smooth dough. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until it's puffy (though not necessarily doubled in bulk). Gently deflate the dough, and knead in the fruits and zest.

Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a panettone pan or other straight-sided, tall 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan. Cover the pan and let the dough rise till it's just crested over the rim of the pan, about 1 hour.

Bake the bread in a preheated 400°F oven for 10 minutes; reduce the oven heat to 375°F and bake an additional 10 minutes; then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for 25 minutes, tenting with aluminum foil if the crust appears to be browning too quickly. Remove the panettone from the oven and cool completely.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. III, No. 2, December 1991 issue.


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  • star rating 01/28/2015
  • Alex from San Diego
  • Very tasty and delicious! I added some sugar to the biga because the yeast needs some simple glucose in order to ferment or "bubble." I also used warm, almost hot, water for both the starter and the dough because yeast needs to be warmed, especially in cold winter weather. Be sure to bake the bread the full amount of time--or times, rather-- as directed. Because the bread is very thick or tall, the center can remain really gooey even when the outside crust is done. You can test the center for doneness by using a thermometer. The center should read about 190 degrees. Alternatively, the bread can be cut open to reveal a clear view or section of the interior.
  • star rating 01/15/2015
  • Betty from Virginia
  • Rise was very disappointing, only a little above paper. Is there too much flour. Why not use warm water? and Could it be there is too much fruit? The bread also burned at 400 degrees and burned on the bottom and top, resulting in center not being fully baked. Extremely heavy ... not traditional Panettone. Panettone is tough to make because we don't practice it year round like we do with cookies or bread. Try using a scale for the ingredients next time if you're in doubt about the flour amounts. If your oven is a little hot, turn it down to 350 and bake until the internal temp is 190 or above. Please call the Baker's Hotline with more questions. Laurie@KAF
  • star rating 01/12/2015
  • mrmoran from KAF Community
  • Panettone is such a fun treat at Christmas, and I really loved baking (and eating) this one. Thanks to the Baker's Hotline, I corrected a too-slack dough mid-stream and ended up with a lovely, high-rising, flavorful holiday treat. I love the Fruitcake Blend -- If you're a fan of dried (not candied) fruits and don't want to make a panettone, try it in the Panettone Muffins; they're easy and incredible! Thanks again, KAF!
  • star rating 01/07/2015
  • Mary Beth from Hilliard, Ohio
  • I was disappointed in this one-a very unusual thing for me for a King Arthur recipe using King Arthur flour and baking paper. Didn't get the rise I expected from looking at the picture and it was very leaden in texture after baking. Flavor was good however and all was not lost as the recipe for Panettone Bread Pudding with Lemon Filling was a excellent use for my brick! Will try for a better Panettone next year (not concerned about the amount of fat,etc. in a once a year bread)!!
    Sorry to hear that the loaf was heavy, it may have been too much flour, or a yeast issue. Give the hotline a call if you would like to troubleshoot. ~ MJ
  • star rating 12/29/2014
  • Sean from Cambridge
  • This recipe is very reliable compared to traditional panettone. The fat content is about 1/4 that of luxury versions. Despite the lower fat content, the loaf comes out perfectly tender on account of the lower-gluten flour used for this recipe. More fat and more gluten yields an ever more feathery/wispy loaf, but at a high risk of failure and more calories. While this lacks the very rich taste of commercial panettone, and probably wont keep as long, this is in many ways more enjoyable for being light and fresh. I recommend increasing the Fiori di Sicilia to 3/4 tsp, and adding much more (up to double) the amount of dried fruit. You'll find it hard to work the fruit into the dough, but keep at it. Best results come from a very wet, sticky dough worked on a buttered surface and buttered hands -- don't let this get dry!
  • star rating 12/29/2014
  • anna from california
  • star rating 12/27/2014
  • MikeG from Houston
  • We used to make panettone a decade or more ago using 2lb coffee cans and a now-lost recipe. Since this one was highly rated, I gave it a try. One thing I did remember was that our old recipe called for soaking the raisins in brandy overnight; that recipe didn't use cranberries. So, I wound up mixing the raisins and cranberries and soaking them in 1/2-3/4 cup of brandy (not quite enough to cover them in a cereal bowl) overnight. Added the excess brandy to the dough before adding the butter. This required some extra flour since this recipe doesn't call for much liquid and the brandy almost doubled it.That didn't seem to hurt, except my waistline. Since I no longer had a pan of the right size and it was too late to find or order any, I used a 1.6L round Corningware (~3" high) casserole lined with parchment and reduced the respective temperatures by 25 degrees. Tested for doneness with a knife since I figured the recipe would no longer be accurate, but the timing was close. Came out great. It was moist, tender and aromatic. The last was probably the brandy. Highly recommend the recipe, but do try the brandy.
  • 12/25/2014
  • Wendy from Michigan
  • This recipe flavor is great, but texture is not even close to store purchase one. I followed the recipe very close and did not change anything. I am not sure what went wrong. The raising time on the recipe is not enough, I added another hour to get raised double. Can you tell me why the texture is not like the real Panettone? Thanks.
    I'm sorry this recipe did not turn out the way you expected. For help troubleshooting this recipe please give our Baker's Hotline a call at 855-371-2253. Barb@KAF
  • star rating 12/22/2014
  • member-pfpwolf from KAF Community
  • My family loved it. An average bread maker, I followed it fairly closely except I soaked my old dried fruit in a bit of brandy and my pantry was bare of orange peel. Instead I heated some orange marmelade and pushed it through a sieve, leaving a fair bit of orange pieces behind (about 1/3 cup). To compensate for some of the orange jelly clinging to the peel I reduced the sugar by a few tablespoons. It rose well, and baked well although the oven I was using was way off temperatures (I use an oven thermometer) and I had a hard time getting the heat down no matter how much I reduced the oven temperature on the dial. The foil on the top saved the day and I will know how to handle it next time---and yes, there is going to be a next time. The bread stayed fresh for about 5 days until it was gone, and had a delicate flavour enhanced by the marmelade (if you like oranges, this was an interesting result). Great recipe, KAF!
  • star rating 12/22/2014
  • winagb from KAF Community
  • I made this vegan by substituting the butter with Earth Balance vegan butter and the eggs with a flax seed meal/water combo. For a deeper color and a little more richness to make up for the omission of the butter and eggs, I used whole wheat white flour for the biga. It came out better than expected! I've never had real pannetone so I can't really do a comparison, but those who have said that it was lighter and a little chewier in texture, and just as delicious because you could really taste the fruit. Success! Another KAF winner.
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