Panettone Perfection with Pastry Chef Maurizio BonanomiTuesday, February 4, 2014
1. When did your passion for baking begin?
I learned from an early age that I had a passion for pastry. At age 12 I started peeking into the window of a small pastry shop in my hometown to learn the tricks of the trade.
2. What is it about panettone that makes it so hard to resist?
Panettone is a sweet, slow rising dough which has become an iconic symbol of Milan and is known throughout the world. Its softness and its taste makes it very appreciated by all, in fact it is exported all over the world.
3. Does panettone belong in the category of confectionery or is it a bread?
Historically, it was recognized as a sweet bread flavored with candied orange and citron rinds and raisins. Over the years, as recipies have evolved enriching panettone with butter, sugar, honey as well as other ingredients making it even more tasty and rich. Today it is identified as a confectionary cake.
4. Is panettone a dessert that can be created in a home kitchen?
Preparing a panettone in a home kitchen is not simple. It requires good knowledge of using natural yeast (lievito madre), kneading and the vital process of leavening. Because manually kneading warms the dough and disturbs the leavening process, one would need a good mixer.
5. The most important part of panetonne making is the leavening. It also is probably why many home bakers aren't compelled to attempt to bake their own at home. What is natural yeast (lievito madre)? Explain what is the difference in the quality of a panettone because of the use of natural yeast in the dough? Can panettone be made with instant yeast?
Natural yeast is an active ingredient and is considered the “heart” of the panettone cake. It is essentially made of flour and water. It must be kneaded and set to rise every 4 hours to obtain a good yeast to use for the cake dough. It takes approximately 20 hours to make a panettone.
6. Can panettone be eaten during any season of the year? When do you prefer to eat it?
Panettone is typically a Christmas cake, however it is produced throughout the year.
7. How important is the quality of the ingredients in creating the most perfect panettone?
Each ingredient is a critical part of making panettone. So much so that even the type of mixer and oven play a huge role in the success of making an excellent panettone!!
8. What are some new trends that can be found in Italy and panettone baking?
As I mentioned before, panettone is traditionally made with candied orange and citron rinds and raisins. Modern culinary trends and tastes have led the production of panettone with more non-traditional fillings, such as other types of candied fruit or creams of all kinds.
9.What is the drink of choice with panettone?
I always enjoy delicious panettone with a medium-dry or sweet sparkling wine.
Thank you for following my blog and keeping up with my baking adventures! I appreciate your comments. They make me smile! email me: savoringitaly @ gmail . com Find me on twitter: @savoringitaly