Orange Chocolate Panettone

 I haven’t posted in ages! but I am back! There is so many good things to eat and this is definitely one of them!

Look at this glorious chocolate orange panettone!!

An enriched sweet bread originally from Milan loaded with candied fruit and raisins. It is a typical offering during Christmas. I have chosen to make mine with chocolate and orange. Most people feel that it is just too intimidating to even attempt to make and I am here to tell you you can make this!!

Gorgeous for days and if you have left overs they can be frozen or make into crazy gorgeous French Toast or the bread pudding of your dreams.

You will need:

Starter

  • 3/4 cups of bread or all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast (dry)
  • 1/2 cup warm (not hot) water

Candied Orange Peel

*You may skip this if you purchase good quality candied orange peel

  • 1 large organic orange
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar – to toss peel in once removed from syrup

Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups of bread or all purpose flour (you may need more)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 stick of butter (1/4 cup) softened/room temp.
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice (if you make the peel use this orange for the juice)
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • 1 tbsp instant yeast (dry)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla paste (or pure extract )
  • 1 tsp orange extract

Plus: egg wash for brushing before baking

Note: you will also need a tall pan or panettone molds

Step 1: if you do this over 2 days. In the morning make the starter. In a small bowl mix the flour, the instant yeast and the water. Leave this covered for the day -This was mine after 8 hours on the counter.

Step 2: peel the order (not the pith just the rind) place in the sugar and water and let it come to a gentle boil for 10 minutes to soften.

Step 3: Once you have simmered the peel strain out the peel and toss in the 1/2 cup of sugar to coat them all and separate. I keep the syrup to brush on top of the bread when it comes out of the oven.

Allow the peel to dry overnight until you are ready to add to the dough the next day.

Step 4: squeeze the orange that you just used and set 1/2 cup of the juice aside to be added to the dough.

Step 5: add all your starter to a large mixing bowl if you are making this by hand or I definitely recommend making this in a stand mixer for ease and also so that you do not add too much flour to this wet dough. I made this recipe both ways and it turns out well either method.

Step 6: add the rest of your ingredients except the peel and the chocolate that goes in after the first rise (proofing) Add the starter, the flour, the sugar, the soft butter, the orange juice, the eggs, 1 tbsp of dry instant yeast, kosher salt, vanilla paste and the orange extract.

Vanilla Paste is an expensive product but I find it very good and worth the money- if you don’t have it use good quality pure vanilla extract (never artificial as its made from a wood product and really makes such a difference)

This is the orange extract I used however, the product on the right is also a good product called Fiori di Sicilia and is a citrus based extract from King Arthur Flour.

Step 7: if using the stand mixer (with the dough hook) let the machine mix for at least 5 minutes and if working this mix by hand you can start by mixing with a wooden spoon however, once it gets too difficult scrape out all your ingredients on the counter and knead for 5-7 minutes. You may need to add another 1/4-1/2 cup if its too sticky. Try not to add too much flour. Once soft and tight place your dough back into a large bowl with a greased piece of plastic wrap and leave overnight in the fridge. Let it stay in he fridge for 8-12 hours.

**The next morning leave it covered on the counter for another 2-3 hours to come to room temperature.

These are Panettone paper molds that you can buy from Amazon or at specialty food stores like Sur La Table, or even Michael’s arts and crafts. They are inexpensive and important to get the bread to rise tall. You can also make a collar or some people even bake them in coffee cans. I think these make the bread look professional and festive and makes a perfect gift wrapped in cellophane and a big bowl.

Step 8: I  buy a decent quality bar of chocolate which also works out to the correct amount. I like both of these as options (you only need 1 chopped bar for this recipe) Chop your orange peel finely and include both the sugar and peel here.

Step 9: remove your dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured counter.

Step: 10: make the dough into a flattened disc and add your chocolate and orange.

Step: 11: roll up and knead the dough to make sure the chocolate and peel get worked into the dough evenly. You might need a bit more flour – knead 1-2 minutes until you can feel the contents have been distributed throughout.

Step 12: place your dough into the paper form – You can add a bit of butter to the bottom of the form. Butter a large sheet of plastic wrap to cover the dough (the dough will stick to the plastic if you don’t grease it)

Cover and I place this heavy loaf in another pan just for ease of moving. I then leave this covered in a warm place to rise until it is over the bread mold. You MUST be patient here. It may take 3-4 even 5 hours to get it nicely proofed (or proved as the English say!)

This is my bread raw after the final proof ready to be baked. I have added some large sugar here as a topping after brushing the top gently with an egg wash. The egg wash is 1 egg and 1 tsp of water whisked and brushed carefully as not to deflate the bread and sprinkled with sugar.

The oven is set to 350 degrees F and I bake in the lower to middle for 20 minutes uncovered and then I make a tent and cover the panettone for the last 25 minutes so it does not get too brown- you may also want to spin the pan halfway through the baking.

Remove from the oven and let almost come to room temp – do not eat this when it is hot. Brush with your leftover orange syrup when it comes out of the oven and is still hot.

Gorgeous!!

So delicious with a cup of coffee and someone you love!! I promise it’s worth the effort.

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