Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

Melt in your mouth, gooey and delicious Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

When I was still a young girl, somewhere between seven and nine years old, my passion was already cooking. If our parents went out for the evening I’d pull out a cookbook (that my mother never used, by the way) and pick out a recipe to make. It was my only opportunity to have the kitchen to myself with a chance to explore and experiment. The goal at the end of the evening was to eat something absolutely sweet and yummy, so clearly dessert recipes were my top choice. At that stage of my life I was crazy about cinnamon so I naturally chose recipes that included this luscious spice, like glazed cinnamon rolls.
My first play with cinnamon was during weekend breakfasts. In the early morning before our parents got up my younger sister and I would take a slice of white bread (you know, the completely no-nutrition kind of bread that if left out on the counter would probably last a year before it would get any mold on it. I remember the bread came in a polka dot plastic package…Wonder Bread I believe. Who knows if that stuff is still around.) In any case my sister and I would pull off the crusts and heap spoonful after spoonful of cinnamon sugar on each slice. We would then roll up the bread and seal it by pinching it together to make a doughy ball of cinnamon sugar. That would be our decadent weekend breakfast accompanied by a forbidden television show before our parents came down to the kitchen.
I’ve shared this piece of culinary trivia with American friends who grew up at the same time and for some odd reason did the exact same thing with bread and cinnamon sugar. Who knows? Did we see it done somewhere or were we all similarly inspired at that age?
As I mentioned, one of the recipes that I chose for my evening cooking adventures was glazed cinnamon rolls. Buttery and sugary and full of my favorite spice: cinnamon. My tradition was to make myself some popcorn, pour a glass of milk and sit down in the kitchen to study a recipe and make sure I had all the necessary ingredients. My mother was a culinary tragedy so more often than not anything strictly out of the ordinary was missing. Yeast was one of those items. My mother was always willing to procure the needed food items for my recipes, including the packaged dried yeast for my cinnamon rolls.
Glazed cinnamon rolls are the kind of thing that seem so much more complicated than they are: it’s simply a question of getting the feel for kneading dough and understanding the way it should feel and look when it’s ready to pop in the oven. I loved playing around with dough (what kid doesn’t?) and the end result was usually something so delightful it was well worth the effort I put into producing a perfect yeast roll. So that’s what I did. Basically it’s a question of reading directions, following directions, and a lot of practice. I learned early on that experimentation in the kitchen is the sure road to success, particularly when you’re as motivated as I was to eat something gooey and sweet and freshly baked.

Melt in your mouth, gooey and delicious Glazed Cinnamon Rolls
Nowadays when I share this childhood cinnamon roll story with friends they find it amazing that I was baking yeast breads as a little kid, and to a certain extent I now realize it was quite unusual. I think it all happened because I’ve always been a food-fixated person, anxious to do whatever it took to eat something yummy and delicious. This coupled with the fact that my mother was both disinterested in cooking and seemingly incapable in the kitchen. For those of you familiar with TV dinners I recall at least one occasion where my mom heated up TV dinners and scooped them onto dinner plates to serve to guests, which I guess says it all.
When our daughter Giulia reached about the age, and maybe slightly younger, that I was when I began baking cinnamon rolls she looked me squarely in the eye, when I was either kitchen gardening or cooking, and with hands on hips declared “certainly mom when I grow up I won’t be doing this”.
Now Giulia is nearly 30, married with a young son, and her culinary passion has remained just about where it was when she proclaimed her complete lack of interest in cooking. Perhaps I’m somewhat the culprit here as in Giulia’s growing up years I did all the cooking and great things to eat without any effort whatsoever were always readily available to Giulia. Heck, I might have done the same a kid but I had to forage in our home to find anything special and delicious to eat.
So you can imagine my surprise (and delight) when a few days ago Giulia expressed an interest in learning how to make none other than glazed cinnamon rolls. Just like me her desire to perfect cinnamon roll preparation wasn’t about learning any particular culinary technique but more so about achieving the end result: devouring warm and gooey cinnamon rolls.
I purchased all the ingredients and headed to Giulia’s house, along with all the necessary equipment and baking tools, to teach her how to make cinnamon rolls. Giulia’s kitchen is tiny so it was a challenge to find counter space for the ingredients, let alone space to work with dough. End result: glazed cinnamon roll perfection!
It’s starting to get cold at night and mornings are chilly and frosty so it’s an indescribable pleasure to smell cinnamon rolls baking and then sit down to eat them with my morning coffee.
Cinnamon rolls are a wonderful holiday breakfast and can be prepared either the day before or prepared up to the point where the dough has almost fully risen. You can then place the rising dough in the refrigerator and in the morning quickly roll it out, lather with soft butter and sprinkle abundantly with cinnamon sugar. Roll up tightly into a log, slice and pop into the oven to bake for 15 minutes and breakfast is ready!

Melt in your mouth, gooey and delicious Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients:

For the dough:

525 g all-purpose flour
4 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
25 g fresh brewers yeast
180 mL tepid water
90 mL room temperature milk
70 g butter
Two medium eggs

For the filling:

160 g unsalted butter, softened in the microwave.
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
105 g brown sugar

For the glaze:

180 g powdered sugar
50 – 65 mL milk

Directions:

For the dough:

Dissolve the yeast in the tepid water and let sit.
Whisk the flour, sugar and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
Whisk the eggs and milk together, then whisk in the yeast mixture.
Use a wooden spoon to beat in the yeast and milk mixture, and melted butter
Continue beating until the dough is creamy, and thoroughly blended.
Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface.
Flour your hands and begin kneading the dough: press down with the palm of your hand, turn the dough 90°F, fold over half way, and press again with the palm of your hand.
Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic, about five minutes.
The dough will become sticky to the touch, and will begin to stick to the work surface as you knead, so dust lightly with additional flour as needed.
Form the dough into a ball.
Place the dough ball in a lightly oiled mixing bowl, and cover with a damp dishtowel.
Let the dough rise for an hour or more, or until doubled in bulk.
Let the dough rise in a room kept at about 90°F, or place the dough in an unheated oven with the oven light turned on.

Prepare the filling:

While the dough is rising soften the butter in the microwave.
Whisk the cinnamon and brown sugar together in a small bowl and set aside.

Prepare the glaze:

Whisk the powdered sugar and milk together until it is smooth and thick enough to spread, but not runny.
I usually find that 50 to 55 mL of milk is sufficient for the glaze.

Prepare the rolls:

Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Once the dough has doubled in bulk place it on a lightly floured work surface and press down gently into a rectangle.
Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough, into an elongated rectangle. roughly 25 centimeters X 40 centimeters.
The dough should be about 1/2 – 3/4 cm thick.
Make sure that the butter for the filling is extremely warm, and that you can easily spread it across the dough without pressing down the dough.
I usually place the butter in the microwave and heat it to the point that it’s partially melted.
I then whisk the partially melted and fully melted butter together, to form a creamlike consistency.
Use a small silicone spatula to generously spread the butter evenly across the dough rectangle.
Grab handfuls of the brown sugar mixture and sprinkle it evenly across the dough.
Roll the dough tightly together to form a log; make sure that you roll from one long side to the other alongside, so that you’d up with a long log.
Pinch the edges of the log together along the seam so that it’s perfectly sealed.
Take a long piece of unwaxed, unflavored dental floss and slide it in under the dough log, about 1 – 1 1/2 centimeter in.
Overlap the floss and pull; this will cut a perfectly shaped roll from the dough.

Melt in your mouth, gooey and delicious Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

Melt in your mouth, gooey and delicious Glazed Cinnamon Rolls
Place the rolls in a well-buttered 10 inch pie pan.
Repeat this process, cutting off as many rolls as will fit comfortably into the pie pan, with the rolls nestled against each other.

Melt in your mouth, gooey and delicious Glazed Cinnamon Rolls
If you have excess rolls bake them separately.
Place the pie pan in the preheated oven, lower the temperature to 375°F and bake for 15 minutes, or until the rolls are just turning golden brown.

Melt in your mouth, gooey and delicious Glazed Cinnamon Rolls
The rolls will have risen nicely during the baking process.
As soon as you remove the rolls from the oven begin icing them.
Again I use a small silicone spatula to glaze.
As you glaze the rolls some of the icing will seep in between the rolls; this will give them additional gooeyness and flavor.
I can’t resist digging into these cinnamon rolls while they’re still warm and gooey but if you manage to not eat them immediately, the rolls will keep nicely if kept covered and refrigerated, for several days, or they can be frozen.
If you choose to freeze the rolls be sure to defrost them in the refrigerator overnight.
You can warm the cinnamon rolls slightly before serving by placing them in the microwave or a barely warm oven.

Below is a print ready version of the recipe. At the bottom of the printable recipe you have the option to choose either metric or U.S. customary measurement.

Melt in your mouth, gooey and delicious Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

Melt in your mouth, gooey and delicious Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

Print

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 525 g all-purpose flour
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 25 g fresh brewers yeast
  • 180 mL tepid water
  • 90 mL room temperature milk
  • 70 g butter
  • Two medium eggs

For the filling:

  • 160 g unsalted butter softened in the microwave.
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 105 g brown sugar

For the glaze:

  • 180 g powdered sugar
  • 55 ml milk or more if needed

Instructions

For the dough:

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the tepid water and let sit.
  2. Whisk the flour, sugar and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Whisk the eggs and milk together, then whisk in the yeast mixture.
  4. Use a wooden spoon to beat in the yeast and milk mixture, and melted butter
  5. Continue beating until the dough is creamy, and thoroughly blended.
  6. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface.
  7. Flour your hands and begin kneading the dough: press down with the palm of your hand, turn the dough 90°F, fold over half way, and press again with the palm of your hand.
  8. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic, about five minutes.
  9. The dough will become sticky to the touch, and will begin to stick to the work surface as you knead, so dust lightly with additional flour as needed.
  10. Form the dough into a ball.
  11. Place the dough ball in a lightly oiled mixing bowl, and cover with a damp dishtowel.
  12. Let the dough rise for an hour or more, or until doubled in bulk.
  13. Let the dough rise in a room kept at about 90°F, or place the dough in an unheated oven with the oven light turned on.

Prepare the filling:

  1. While the dough is rising soften the butter in the microwave.
  2. Whisk the cinnamon and brown sugar together in a small bowl and set aside.

Prepare the glaze:

  1. Whisk the powdered sugar and milk together until it is smooth and thick enough to spread, but not runny.
  2. I usually find that 50 to 55 mL of milk is sufficient for the glaze.

Prepare the rolls:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Once the dough has doubled in bulk place it on a lightly floured work surface and press down gently into a rectangle.
  3. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough, into an elongated rectangle. roughly 25 centimeters X 40 centimeters.
  4. The dough should be about 1/2 - 3/4 cm thick.
  5. Make sure that the butter for the filling is extremely warm, and that you can easily spread it across the dough without pressing down the dough.
  6. I usually place the butter in the microwave and heat it to the point that it's partially melted.
  7. I then whisk the partially melted and fully melted butter together, to form a creamlike consistency.
  8. Use a small silicone spatula to generously spread the butter evenly across the dough rectangle.
  9. Grab handfuls of the brown sugar mixture and sprinkle it evenly across the dough.
  10. Roll the dough tightly together to form a log; make sure that you roll from one long side to the other alongside, so that you’d up with a long log.
  11. Pinch the edges of the log together along the seam so that it's perfectly sealed.
  12. Take a long piece of unwaxed, unflavored dental floss and slide it in under the dough log, about 1 - 1 1/2 centimeter in.
    Melt in your mouth, gooey and delicious Glazed Cinnamon Rolls
  13. Overlap the floss and pull; this will cut a perfectly shaped roll from the dough.
  14. Place the rolls in a well-buttered 10 inch pie pan.
  15. Repeat this process, cutting off as many rolls as will fit comfortably into the pie pan, with the rolls nestled against each other.
  16. If you have excess rolls bake them separately.
  17. Place the pie pan in the preheated oven, lower the temperature to 375°F and bake for 15 minutes, or until the rolls are just turning golden brown.
  18. The rolls will have risen nicely during the baking process.
  19. As soon as you remove the rolls from the oven begin icing them.
  20. Again I use a small silicone spatula to glaze.
  21. As you glaze the rolls some of the icing will seep in between the rolls; this will give them additional gooeyness and flavor.
  22. I can’t resist digging into these cinnamon rolls while they're still warm and gooey but if you manage to not eat them immediately, the rolls will keep nicely if kept covered and refrigerated, for several days, or they can be frozen.
    Melt in your mouth, gooey and delicious Glazed Cinnamon Rolls
  23. If you choose to freeze the rolls be sure to defrost them in the refrigerator overnight.
  24. You can warm the cinnamon rolls slightly before serving by placing them in the microwave or a barely warm oven.

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Panettone

Christmas is around the corner and once again it’s time to make panettone, the Italian classic sweet bread loaf that you find on every Italian table during the holidays.

Fresh baked panettone are the perfect dessert for your holiday table!

Panettone requires a full day including three risings, so if you decide to make your own panettone be sure to allot the necessary time to bake this wonderful dessert. This is a classic panettone recipe that will yield a delicious, beautifully textured sweet bread that is almost identical to what you’d taste in Italy. There are some faster, shortcut recipes available but they just don’t come close to a genuine Italian panettone.

The history of panettone dates back to the Roman empire when a panettone-like leavened honey-sweetened cake was often prepared. Panettone as we currently know it originated in Milan in the 1900’s. It is dome-shaped, and a 1 kg panettone is about 6 inches tall. Nowadays you can find all sizes: mini-panettone, half kilogram panettone and sometimes extra-large panettone of  2 or 3 kg, and up to 10 kg.

Homemade mini panettone

The name panettone stems from the Italian word for bread: pane. A panetto is a small loaf, and if you add on the suffix “-one” it means large, hence panettone.

The classic Italian panettone is filled with candied citrus (lemon, citron and orange), and sultana raisins. Sultana raisins are made from dried, white seedless grapes and are a golden color; much plumper and sweeter than other raisins.
I’m not a fan of candied citrus fruit so I prefer to use dried cranberries soaked in rum instead. I incorporate lemon and orange flavoring into the panettone with lemon and orange zest. In this recipe you could use both, but I think you’ll find that using dried cranberries is a wonderful alternative.

Fresh baked panettone for Christmas with orange zest and candied orange

Make sure you have all the necessary equipment and ingredients on hand and assembled before you get started. You’ll need special panettone paper which is easy to buy online.

Panettone papers come in all sizes and are the perfect way to bake homemade panettone

You’ll also need some very long knitting needles or barbecue skewers to use when you cool your panettone hanging upside down to keep them from collapsing.

Panettone fresh out of the oven, speared with barbecue skewers and hung upside down over a pot to cool to avoid collapsing

I’ve broken the steps down to allow for easy preparation. First, you’ll find a complete ingredient list necessary for the entire preparation, and then an ingredient list for each step of preparation.

This recipe yields three 1/2 kg panettone. Let’s face it, if you’re spending a day to bake a panettone it’s well worth it to bake three at the same time. Panettone make wonderful holiday gifts so it’s great to have a few extra on hand. They also freeze well. Begin by assembling all of your ingredients, and then divide them up by what you will need for each step and dough rising.

A few comments on the ingredients and procedure.

For the all-purpose flour I strongly suggest that you use a high-quality flour such as King Arthur.
Italian flour is classified quite differently from American flour and a classic Italian panettone recipe would call for a strong, or gluten rich, flour such as Manitoba flour or W380 flour. If you have access to either of these flour types by all means use them in place of all-purpose flour.

I like panettone made with dried cranberries that have been soaked the night before in rum. If you want to stick to a classic recipe then you should use the Sultana raisins and candied citrus fruit. Feel free to add your own flavor twist to the panettone: try adding mini chocolate chips, crumbled chestnuts or pine nuts.

I strongly suggest you use a fresh brewers yeast rather than a packaged dry yeast for panettone. If you happen to have a good mother yeast on hand by all means use that in place of the brewers yeast.

Egg amounts are indicated in grams as this is the most precise way to measure ingredients for baking. Eggs can differ in size, and therefore weight, but an average large U.S. egg weighs roughly 50 g out of the shell, and about 1/3 of this is yolk. Next to the egg weight in the ingredients list I have indicated the approximate number of eggs required, assuming an egg weight of 50 g.

To facilitate the speed of dough risings you should rise the dough in an unheated oven with the oven light on, or a warm spot in your kitchen. The dough will rise best if the room is about 80°F.

Let’s start with the complete list of the ingredients you will need, along with any necessary special equipment. Please note that although ingredients are listed in metric, the print version of the recipe at the bottom of this page lets you choose either metric or U.S. customary measurements.

Total ingredients required for the panettone:
32 grams brewers yeast
260 grams eggs, about 5 eggs
170 grams egg yolks, from about 8 1/2 eggs.
1.2 kilogram all-purpose flour
254 grams granulated sugar
500 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
100 milliliters water
400 grams dried cranberries or sultana raisins (or a mixture of the two)
Optional: candied citrus fruit, finely cubed (roughly 80 grams cedro and 150 grams orange)
100 milliliters rum, for soaking the dried cranberries
Zest from one lemon and one orange
1 tablespoon vanilla
60 grams honey

Special equipment needed:
Six long knitting needles or barbecue skewers, long enough to skewer the base of the panettone, leaving 3 to 4 inches at each end.
Three 1/2 kg panettone papers; you can find these in gourmet specialty stores or online.
If you don’t have panettone papers, you can use large cans (used coffee or tomato cans) as a substitute. In this case grease the inside of the cans and then line with parchment paper. If you plan to use the panettone for gifts it’s well worth it to purchase panettone papers as they make a lovely presentation.
Although not strictly necessary a large, sturdy mixer with a dough hook is advisable. I swear by my KitchenAid.

Ingredients for the flavor mix:
60 grams honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Zest from one lemon and one orange

Ingredients for the first rising:
24 grams brewers yeast
100 milliliters warm water
80 grams eggs, about 1 1/2 eggs
250 grams all-purpose flour
24 grams sugar

Ingredients for the second rising:
250 grams all-purpose flour
100 grams eggs, about 2 eggs
20 grams egg yolks, from about 1 egg
80 grams sugar
150 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature

Ingredients for the support dough, to be added with the third rising:
8 grams brewers yeast
30 grams eggs, about 2/3 egg
50 grams all-purpose flour

Ingredients for the third  rising:
500 grams all-purpose flour
350 grams butter, at room temperature
150 grams eggs, about 3 eggs
150 grams egg yolks, from about 7 1/2 eggs
150 grams granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Procedure:

The night before prepare the flavor mixture:
Mix the honey, lemon and orange zest, and vanilla in a small glass bowl.
Cover with clingfilm and set aside.

The night before soak the Sultana raisins or cranberries:
Soak the raisins or cranberries in rum or water at room temperature for several hours.
Drain, pat dry and place on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels.
Cover with a dishtowel and allow to dry overnight.

Prepare the first rising:
Mix all the ingredients for the first rising together in the mixer using a paddle.
Place the dough in a glass or plastic bowl, cover with a damp dishtowel or clingfilm, and allow to rise until doubled in volume. This will take about 1 1/4 hours.

Prepare the second rising:
Place the dough from the first rising in to the mixer.
Add the flour and begin mixing using the dough hook.
When the flour is fully blended in, add the eggs.
Once the dough is fully mixed and begins to pull away from the sides of the mixer, slowly add the sugar and the butter, in thirds.
Mix until it’s fully incorporated and pulling away from the sides of the mixer.
Place the dough, covered, in a glass or plastic bowl and allow to rise, tripling in volume. This should take from 2 to 4 hours.

Prepare the support dough while the second dough is rising:
Whisk the flour, brewers yeast, and eggs together until smooth and creamy.
Set aside.

Prepare the third rising:
Place the dough from the second rising in the mixer and add the flour and support dough.
Add the eggs and flavor mixture and once this is fully incorporated into the dough, add the sugar, salt and butter in thirds mixing well after each addition.
The dough should separate from the sides of the mixer and be smooth and stretchy.
Add the cranberries or raisins and the candied fruit and continue mixing just until the fruit is well distributed within the dough.
Place the dough, covered, in a glass or plastic bowl and allow to rise until doubled in volume, roughly 2 hours.

Prepare the dough for placement in the panettone baking papers, the “pirlatura”:
Place the dough on a very lightly buttered work surface, not a wooden surface, and divide into three pieces.
Butter your hands.
Begin working the dough into round, smooth forms; in Italian this process is known as the “pirlatura”.
Lightly roll each dough ball until it is round and smooth.
Use your hands and begin at the top of the dough ball, pushing/sliding your hands down towards the base of the dough ball.
Turn the ball clockwise as you smooth the ball from top to bottom.
Make sure you smooth/slide your hands along the dough ball from top to bottom and slightly underneath.
Once the ball is silky and smooth, roll it on its side and continue the “pirlatura” process of sliding your hands across the dough ball from top to bottom and underneath.
The dough ball should now be very smooth and uniform, with no air bubbles or seams whatsoever.
Place the dough balls in the panettone papers.
Cover lightly with clingfilm and allow to rise until the dough is about an inch from the top, about two hours.

Bake the panettone:
About 30 minutes before the panettone have fully risen in the panettone papers, preheat the oven to 400°F.
Make sure your oven rack is placed on a low enough shelf to allow you to fit the panettone in the oven.
Remove the clingfilm and let the surface dry out and form a crust (about five minutes) so you can make a crisscross incision on the surface of the panettone.
Use a buttered razor blade or very sharp buttered knife.
Make the incision very carefully as you don’t want to deflate the panettone.
Place a tablespoon nut of butter in the center of the criss cross.
Place the panettone in the oven, along with a cup of hot water, and bake for 10 minutes.
Reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Lower the temperature to 325°F and bake until golden brown and a wooden barbecue stick inserted into the center of the panettone comes out clean, approximately 30 minutes.
An instant read thermometer inserted into the panettone will read about 195°F.
Midway through baking you may need to place a sheet of tinfoil lightly atop each panettone if you see they have already baked to a golden brown.

Cool the panettone:
As soon as you remove the panettone from the oven, insert two skewers into the base about 1 1/2 inches from the bottom. Insert the skewers parallel or in a crisscross fashion.
Flip the panettone over gently and hang upside down over a large pot.
In the absence of a large pot, you can place them upside down over a deep sink or some other support system such as a stack of books.
Let the panettone cool to room temperature, for at least two hours.
You can let the panettone rest further by laying them down sideways supported by rolled up towels.

Panettone are layed on their side on rolled up dish towels to cool down

At this point remove the skewers and place the panettone upright.

panettone fresh out of the oven
Wrap in airtight plastic wrap or tin foil.
Store in a sealed freezer bag.
Panettone that are kept refrigerated will maintain their freshness for several weeks.
Panettone freeze well.

Fresh baked panettone are the perfect dessert for your holiday table!

Panettone

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 8 hours
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours 50 minutes
Print

Ingredients

Total ingredients required for the panettone:

  • 32 grams brewers yeast
  • 260 grams eggs about 5 eggs
  • 170 grams egg yolks from about 8 1/2 eggs.
  • 1.2 kilogram all-purpose flour
  • 254 grams granulated sugar
  • 500 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 100 milliliters water
  • 400 grams dried cranberries or sultana raisins or a mixture of the two
  • Optional: candied citrus fruit finely cubed (roughly 80 grams cedro and 150 grams orange)
  • 100 milliliters rum for soaking the dried cranberries
  • Zest from one lemon and one orange
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 60 grams honey

Special equipment needed:

  • Six long knitting needles or barbecue skewers long enough to skewer the base of the panettone, leaving 3 to 4 inches at each end.
  • Three 1/2 kg panettone papers; you can find these in gourmet specialty stores or online.
  • If you don't have panettone papers you can use large cans (used coffee or tomato cans) as a substitute. In this case grease the inside of the cans and then line with parchment paper. If you plan to use the panettone for gifts it's well worth it to purchase panettone papers as they make a lovely presentation.
  • Although not strictly necessary a large sturdy mixer with a dough hook is advisable. I swear by my KitchenAid.

Ingredients for the flavor mix:

  • 60 grams honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Zest from one lemon and one orange

Ingredients for the first rising:

  • 24 grams brewers yeast
  • 100 milliliters warm water
  • 80 grams eggs about 1 1/2 eggs
  • 250 grams all-purpose flour
  • 24 grams sugar

Ingredients for the second rising:

  • 250 grams all-purpose flour
  • 100 grams eggs about 2 eggs
  • 20 grams egg yolks from about 1 egg
  • 80 grams sugar
  • 150 grams unsalted butter at room temperature

Ingredients for the support dough, to be added with the third rising:

  • 8 grams brewers yeast
  • 30 grams eggs about 2/3 egg
  • 50 grams all-purpose flour

Ingredients for the third  rising:

  • 500 grams all-purpose flour
  • 350 grams butter at room temperature
  • 150 grams eggs about 3 eggs
  • 150 grams egg yolks from about 7 1/2 eggs
  • 150 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

The night before prepare the flavor mixture:

  1. Mix the honey, lemon and orange zest, and vanilla in a small glass bowl.
  2. Cover with clingfilm and set aside.

The night before soak the Sultana raisins or cranberries:

  1. Soak the raisins or cranberries in rum or water at room temperature for several hours.
  2. Drain, pat dry and place on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels.
  3. Cover with a dishtowel and allow to dry overnight.

Prepare the first rising:

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the first rising together in the mixer using a paddle.
  2. Place the dough in a glass or plastic bowl, cover with a damp dishtowel or clingfilm, and allow to rise until doubled in volume. This will take about 1 1/4 hours.

Prepare the second rising:

  1. Place the dough from the first rising into the mixer.

  2. Add the flour and begin mixing using the paddle.

  3. When the flour is fully blended in, add the eggs.
  4. Once the dough is fully mixed and begins to pull away from the sides of the mixer, slowly add the sugar and the butter, in thirds.
  5. Mix until it’s fully incorporated and pulling away from the sides of the mixer.
  6. Place the dough, covered, in a glass or plastic bowl and allow to rise, tripling in volume. This should take from 2 to 4 hours.

Prepare the support dough while the second dough is rising:

  1. Whisk the flour, brewers yeast, and eggs together until smooth and creamy.
  2. Set aside.

Prepare the third rising:

  1. Place the dough from the second rising in the mixer and add the flour and support dough.
  2. Add the eggs and flavor mixture and once this is fully incorporated into the dough, add the sugar, salt and butter in thirds mixing well after each addition.
  3. The dough should separate from the sides of the mixer and be smooth and stretchy.
  4. Add the cranberries or raisins and the candied fruit and continue mixing just until the fruit is well distributed within the dough.
  5. Place the dough, covered, in a glass or plastic bowl and allow to rise until doubled in volume, roughly 2 hours.

Prepare the dough for placement in the panettone baking papers, the “pirlatura”:

  1. Place the dough on a very lightly buttered work surface, not a wooden surface, and divide into three pieces.
  2. Butter your hands.
  3. Begin working the dough into round, smooth forms; in Italian this process is known as the “pirlatura”.
  4. Lightly roll each dough ball until it is round and smooth.
  5. Use your hands and begin at the top of the dough ball, pushing/sliding your hands down towards the base of the dough ball.
  6. Turn the ball clockwise as you smooth the ball from top to bottom.
  7. Make sure you smooth/slide your hands along the dough ball from top to bottom and slightly underneath.
  8. Once the ball is silky and smooth, roll it on its side and continue the “pirlatura” process of sliding your hands across the dough ball from top to bottom and underneath.
  9. The dough ball should now be very smooth and uniform, with no air bubbles or seams whatsoever.
  10. Place the dough balls in the panettone papers.
    Panettone ready to be baked!
  11. Cover lightly with clingfilm and allow to rise until the dough is about an inch from the top, about two hours.

Bake the panettone:

  1. About 30 minutes before the panettone have fully risen in the panettone papers, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Make sure your oven rack is placed on a low enough shelf to allow you to fit the panettone in the oven.
  3. Remove the clingfilm and let the panettone surface dry out and form a crust (about five minutes) so you can make a crisscross incision on the surface of the panettone.
  4. Use a buttered razor blade or very sharp buttered knife.
  5. Make the incision very carefully as you don't want to deflate the panettone.
  6. Place a tablespoon nut of butter in the center of the criss cross.
  7. Place the panettone in the oven, along with a cup of hot water, and bake for 10 minutes.
  8. Reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  9. Lower the temperature to 325°F and bake until the panettone are golden brown and a wooden barbecue stick inserted into the center of the panettone comes out clean, approximately 30 minutes.
  10. An instant read thermometer inserted into the panettone will read about 195°F.
  11. Midway through baking you may need to place a sheet of tinfoil lightly atop each panettone if you see they have already baked to a golden brown.

Cool the panettone:

  1. As soon as you remove the panettone from the oven, insert two skewers into the base of the panettone about 1 1/2 inches from the bottom. Insert the skewers parallel or in a crisscross fashion.
  2. Flip the panettone over gently and hang upside down over a large pot.
  3. In the absence of a large pot, you can place the panettone upside down over a deep sink or some other support system such as a stack of books.
  4. Let the panettone cool to room temperature, for at least two hours.
  5. You can let the panettone rest further by laying them down sideways supported by rolled up towels.
    Panettone are layed on their side on rolled up dish towels to cool down
  6. At this point remove the skewers and place the panettone upright.
  7. Wrap the panettone in airtight plastic wrap or tin foil.
  8. Store in a sealed freezer bag.
  9. Panettone that are kept refrigerated will maintain their freshness for several weeks.
  10. Panettone freeze well.

Recipe Notes

Notes:

This recipe yields three 1/2 kg panettone. Let's face it, if you're spending a day to bake a panettone it's well worth it to bake three at the same time. Panettone make wonderful holiday gifts so it's great to have a few extra on hand. They also freeze well. Begin by assembling all of your ingredients, and then divide them up by what you will need for each step and dough rising.

A few comments on the ingredients and procedure.

For the all-purpose flour I strongly suggest that you use a high-quality flour such as King Arthur.
Italian flour is classified quite differently from American flour and a classic Italian panettone recipe would call for a strong, or gluten rich, flour such as Manitoba flour or W380 flour. If you have access to either of these flour types by all means use them in place of all-purpose flour.

I like panettone made with dried cranberries that have been soaked the night before in rum. If you want to stick to a classic recipe then you should use the Sultana raisins and candied citrus fruit. Feel free to add your own flavor twist to the panettone: try adding mini chocolate chips, crumbled chestnuts or pine nuts.

I strongly suggest you use a fresh brewers yeast rather than a packaged dry yeast for panettone. If you happen to have a good mother yeast on hand by all means use that in place of the brewers yeast.

Egg amounts are indicated in grams as this is the most precise way to measure ingredients for baking. Eggs can differ in size, and therefore weight, but an average large U.S. egg weighs roughly 50 g out of the shell, and about 1/3 of this is yolk. Next to the egg weight in the ingredients list I have indicated the approximate number of eggs required, assuming an egg weight of 50 g.

To facilitate the speed of dough risings you should rise the dough in an unheated oven with the oven light on, or a warm spot in your kitchen. The dough will rise best if the room is about 80°F.

 

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Christmas is around the corner and once again it’s time to make panettone, the Italian classic sweet bread loaf that you find on every Italian table during the holidays!

Corn bread and muffins

Corn bread and muffins are one of my favorite accompaniments to a meal, at breakfast, or anytime. I love them slathered with butter and drizzled with honey, or just on their own.

Corn bread and muffins

Corn bread and muffins took on a new dimension several years ago when I began using a mill attachment for my KitchenAid. I love my KitchenAid mixer, but its milling attachment has been life-changing.
The attachment allows me to get more creative with breads: I can now use farro and other less common grains to mill and mix together. And there’s nothing like a cornbread made with freshly ground corn.
Adjust the settings on the mill for a fine grain or a rougher grain depending on what your taste preference is. For cornbread I like to grind the corn kernels as fine as possible and then mix them with equal parts white flour so that there’s enough gluten in the bread to give it a good rise.

Corn bread and muffins made with freshly ground cornmeal

Finely ground cornmeal…

Corn bread and muffins made with freshly ground cornmeal

Today I decided to make both corn bread and muffins to serve over the holidays.
This recipe is perfect for one small corn loaf and 24 mini muffins.

Corn bread and muffins made with freshly ground cornmeal

Corn bread and muffins

Ingredients:

155 g of yellow cornmeal, finely ground
150 g all-purpose flour
67 g granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Two large eggs, lightly beaten
355 milliliters milk
57 g butter, melted and cooled

Procedure:
Preheat the oven to 175°C
Lightly butter and flour a small loaf pan.
Put a drop of cooking oil in each mini muffin tin, and use a small silicone baster to spread the oil around.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
Mix the wet ingredients together separately.
Gently whisk the wet ingredients and dry ingredients together until just moist, making sure to not over mix. The batter should be somewhat lumpy.
Fill the loaf pan about 2/3 to 3/4 full.
Spoon batter into the muffin tins until the batter almost reaches the top.
Place the loaf pan to the rear of the oven (as it takes longer to bake) and then place the muffin tins inside the oven.
The corn muffins should take 12 to 13 minutes to bake.
The corn loaf will take an additional 10 to 12 minutes to bake, or about 20 to 25 minutes total.
Serve the corn bread and muffins in a basket, along with some butter and honey for drizzling.

Full disclosure: I make a small commission for purchases made through links on my blog. Prices are identical to those on the Amazon website, but purchasing through my link helps support my work in bringing you great recipes and culinary information!

Printable recipe (in metric or U.S. measurements):

Corn bread and muffins made with freshly ground cornmeal

Corn bread and muffins

Print

Ingredients

  • 155 grams yellow cornmeal finely ground
  • 150 grams all-purpose flour
  • 67 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 355 milliliters milk
  • 57 grams butter melted and cooled

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C
  2. Lightly butter and flour a small loaf pan.
  3. Put a drop of cooking oil in each mini muffin tin, and use a small silicone baster to spread the oil around.
  4. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Mix the wet ingredients together separately.
  6. Gently whisk the wet ingredients and dry ingredients together until just moist, making sure to not over mix. The batter should be somewhat lumpy.
  7. Fill the loaf pan about 2/3 to 3/4 full.
  8. Spoon batter into the muffin tins until the batter almost reaches the top.
  9. Place the loaf pan to the rear of the oven (as it takes longer to bake) and then place the muffin tins inside the oven.
  10. The corn muffins should take 12 to 13 minutes to bake.
  11. The corn loaf will take an additional 10 to 12 minutes to bake, or about 20 to 25 minutes total.
  12. Serve the corn bread and muffins in a basket, along with some butter and honey for drizzling.
    Corn bread and muffins

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