Thursday 27 December 2012

Daring Bakers December 2012 Challenge: Panettone! (Gluten free attempt)

The December 2012 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by the talented Marcellina of Marcellina in Cucina. Marcellina challenged us to create our own custom Panettone, a traditional Italian holiday bread! I used to adore Panettone, all soft, sweet, buttery, light, flakey and fruity. I’ve not been able to taste one since being coeliac, and as they are rather an art form to bake, I’ve never even considered attempting my own. That was until this challenge presented itself.

When I read Panettone was this months challenge a felt a mixture of dread and excitement. Making a gluten free Panettone, a sweet bread that replies so heavily on its gluten structure for its unique flaky, buttery goodness seemed like an impossible task, but I decided to give it a go anyway.

The recipe involves many stages. A yeast sponge starter, a first dough, second dough, filling and prove. However, I have learnt from my many gluten free experiments that gluten free bread does not like being touched after its first prove. There is no gluten to hold the bread structure together and so purposely knocking out any air you have managed to create in the dough during a prove, is a bad idea. However, this did mean that I could condense the steps required, make one dough and then leave it to prove, meaning the process itself was quite quick. I didn’t have a Panettone mould so I used the base of my giant cupcake tin!

So how did my gluten free Panettone turn out?....well… was ok. It was more like a giant scone than a Panettone. It tasted nice, it reminded my strongly of Stollen rather than Panettone. It was quite dense, cakey and closely textured, and on day of baking it was soft and moist. However, by the following morning it had turned a little dry and very crumbly, making it seem even more scone-like.

I’m going to say it was a semi success. It had a good flavour, but apart from that it was nothing like a traditional Panettone. I may try it again in the future, but I think I would look for a gluten free Panettone recipe as my dough wasn’t right. I did add more water, but I think it needed more as the structure inside was not right.

I had fun attempting the challenge and as the saying goes, it’s the taking part that counts! Click here to see my fellow Daring Bakers delicious looking Panettone.  

Gluten Free Panettone
(Recipe loosely based on The Italian Baker by Carol Field)
4g active dry yeast
60ml warm water
35g gluten free plain flour

4g active dry yeast
30ml warm water
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
290g gluten free plain flour
100g caster sugar
150g butter, melted
1½ tbsp honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder (my addition)
1½ tsp xanthan gum

Fruit Filling
100g golden raisins or sultanas
50g dried apricots, chopped
50g dried cranberries
Zest of ½ orange, coarsely grated
Zest of ½ lemon, coarsely grated

Mix the yeast and water in a small bowl and allow to stand until creamy, around 10 minutes.
Mix in the flour, cover with clingfilm and allow to double in size for about 20 minutes.

Grease a Panettone mould or large round, deep baking tin. About 5inches wide.
Mix the yeast and water in a large bowl and allow to stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
Mix in the sponge and beat well with a wooden spoon.
Stir in the eggs, sugar, honey, melted butter, extracts and salt. Beat well to combine.
Sift over the flour, baking powder and xanthan gum.
Mix together and beat well for several minutes, until a smooth and sticky dough is formed. Add more water if it seems too stiff.
Add the fruits and grated zests and mix into the dough thoroughly.
Scrape the dough into the prepared tin and cover the top with lightly oiled clingfilm.
Place in a warm spot and leave to prove for 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Place your panettone in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C and bake for another 10 minutes.
Reduce the heat again to 160°C and bake for 30 minutes until the tops are well browned and a skewer inserted into the panettone comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin for 30 minutes before turning out onto a rack and leaving to cool completely.
(I’ve found this gluten free panettone/giant scone is ok on day of baking, although like scones, it doesn’t keep well and so is best eaten on day of baking.)


What's for dessert? said...

Looks delicious, great job on the challenge!

Jenni said...

Oh my gosh! You did an awesome job turning a bread highly dependent on gluten into a gluten free treat! Even though it is dense and scone-like, I bet it was still really delicious! :) It looks great!

Caroline said...

It does look good, even if you feel the texture wasn't right. I wouldn't have been brave enough to attempt a gluten free version of something so bread-y so wow!

Elle said...

Wonderful attempt Katie. This one would be pretty difficult with the gluten free ingredients, but it looks beautiful and a panettone flavored scone isn't such a bad thing either. Happy New Year!

Johanna GGG said...

good on you for trying - feels like you need to do a bit of trial and error to find a good recipe for anything but gluten free requires even more trial and error - good luck with finding a recipe

was also curious to know if this one would work ok in bread and butter pudding - it is one of the ways I have often used pannetone and love it

The Caked Crusader said...

Love the cut slice - it's packed with jewels!