20 Comments
Nov 16, 2022Liked by Andrew Janjigian, Olga Koutseridi

A wonderful post! I've been making Panettone the past several years as Christmas presents for friends + family and have very much experienced a rollercoaster of success and disappointment.

Thank you, Olga, for sharing your knowledge and experience!

What kind of flour do you typically use in your panettone? High-gluten? Standard bread flour? I know you mentioned the flour being much less important than other factors, but curious nonetheless.

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Hi Craig,

Thank you for the kind words. I could def write a whole article on flour. I talk about flour a little in this article. For Panettone like Roy’s, you need really strong flour with a high W index. I like to use Petra and Molino Pasini for formulas like his. On the other hand, I have made Giorilli’s formulas successfully with King Arthur Bread and King Arthur Sir Lancelot flours. It is all about learning how to balance your formulas based on the specific ingredients you are using flour being one of those.

I will say when you are first learning it is best to learn and practice with a stable panettone flour then you can learn how to bake panettone with local or different types of flours.

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Nov 17, 2022Liked by Olga Koutseridi

Thanks so much for the response! I recently got hold of a 25lb bag of Petra panettone flour for a not ridiculous price, so glad to hear you've used it before with success!

Another question I had was about maintaining a tiny LM when not in production mode. I currently keep my LM at ~60g and feed it twice a day (1/1/.5 ratio of LM+flour+water) to minimize waste. I typically don't bind it and just keep it in a pint jar w/loose lid. Ambient temps between 68-72F most of the time.

My questions being:

* Have you found binding the LM in cloth to be useful?

* Could keeping such a small LM make things more difficult in terms of maintaining a well balanced culture of organisms?

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Hi Craig,

How exciting about the Petra flour and especially about the price, these flours are very expensive to source for the most part here in the US.

If I may ask two clarifying questions. Is this your daily feeding/maintenance schedule? How frequently do you bake Panettone?

My favorite form of long term storage for LM is bound or like you said in a cloth, I talk about it here in a little more detail, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7c-r3FlSNc. For me it is easier to control everything using using the bound or legato method.

Most home bakers keep a very small amount of LM. The biggest question might be about your overall maintenance process which might need to be reassessed if you do no bake Panettone frequently.

Hope this helps!

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Nov 28, 2022Liked by Olga Koutseridi

Hi Olga, apologies for the delay in responding.

The twice daily feeding schedule is what I've been using lately. Since last December I kept the LM bound in the fridge and fed it once a month, but since we're getting close to when I'll be using it for production I decided to keep it out at ambient temps and get a sense of its activity.

I've also done some "production trial runs" of the starter to see if it doubles/triples in 3-4h at 85F (it's just barely doubling in that time).

I'll be going into actual production in the next week or two, baking mostly on the weekends.

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Hope your panettone baking season went smoothly! Panettone production is exhausting especially for bakers with a diverse baking schedule and menu. The ability to focus on and produce one type of baked good is incredibly rare. I wish I could design from scratch a space for producing panettone. A lot of these lessons I shared are my strategies for accommodating panettone making in less than ideal conditions lol.

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Jan 19, 2023Liked by Olga Koutseridi

Unfortunately my holidays went quite smoothly because I had to abandon my panettone plans :( Did a couple trial runs of the first impasto and found that it was acidifying way too much after doubling/tripling in volume (down to b/t 3.7 - 4.1 pH). I suspect that my starter was way to lactic and am going to try again with a new, apple-based starter this year.

Note to self: do trial runs in October, not the beginning of December haha

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Dec 28, 2022Liked by Olga Koutseridi

Hi Olga! Thank you for this article! I gives me more energy and support in this endless pathway of getting a good panettone. I wanted to ask you about your recommendation on transitioning from liquid to solid lievito madre. You mentioned refreshing it twice a day with a 1:1 ratio (sourdough:flour) while reducing the hydration and then keep doing that for about 1 week. Do you keep the LM at 17ºC during this phase? Thanks in advance. Gonzalo

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Hi Gonzalo, thank you so much for your kind words, means the world to me. Thank you so much for your patience, life has been crazy lately! I need to write a much longer blog entry on this topic. There are many ways of converting your liquid starter to a solid starter. Panbrioche.com has several blog posts on this topic in much greater length, here is one https://panbrioche.com/en/solid-mother-yeast/#. You want to keep your starter at warmer temperatures during the conversion process, somewhere between 23C to 26C. This is different from the maintenance process and its temperatures. Always here to support.

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Jan 9, 2023Liked by Olga Koutseridi

Great article! Recently I read (elsewhere 🙂) about someone having a horrible experience with panetonne. In particular, they wrote "The dough fell down in the oven and top crumbled when I turned upside down. Total disaster. Tasted sour and burnt butter. waste of time and product." My question is what caused the panetonne to collapse in the oven and why did the top of the panetonne fall off upon being turned over to hang upside down? In my limited experience, the 'sour taste & collapse during baking' sounds like overripe dough (ie letting it rise too long where it starts to collapse prior to going in oven and/or an oven temperature issue. I would greatly like to have anyone chime in on this. Thank you for your wisdom! 🤗

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Hi Angelica. Thank you so much for the kind words. I didn't go into the details of my own panettone nightmares but all of the things you mention here have definitely happened to me. The panettone dome falling off when you flip or hang the panettone upside down is usually due to fermentation and acidification issues. In other words, the acidity had compromised the gluten network. The dome cannot be supported when hanging upside down by a weak dough. This is the most common reason I would say generally speaking. The second reason for this might be underbaking. So everything with fermentation is ok but you took the panettone out too soon, usually under 93C internal temperature. Often this has a different look. You can see the long stretched out strands of strong gluten/dough, usually the dome is partially still attached to the rest of the panettone. Hope this helps a little. Let me know if you have any other questions.

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Jan 13, 2023Liked by Olga Koutseridi

Thank you for replying ❤. I, too, think that the issue involved is as you stated. I was intrigued when I read that someone had such a negative experience with their panetonne and appreciate the time you took to share what might have been the reason(s) behind it. Again, thank you!

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Jan 17, 2023Liked by Olga Koutseridi

Thank you for this wonderful post!!! I have recently made master Giorilli's panettone recipe, and it turned out delicious. I used King Arthur bread flour but I was afraid that it might not be strong enough for the long fermentation, so I added vital wheat gluten to raise the overall protein content to 15 percent (KA bread flour has only 12.7 percent protein). It worked but I wonder if next time I should try the recipe without adding vital wheat gluten. Have you tried it with only using it KA bread flour and nothing else and was it successful? I read in your post that you tried it with KA bread flour but I was wondering if you added anything else to it such as vital wheat gluten or some stronger flour to improve the overall strength.

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Hi Peter! First of all, congratulations! Baking panettone is no easy feat especially with non specialty flour. I have baked Giorilli's formula with KA Bread flour in the past but it has been several years now. The quality of KA bread flour has been much more inconsistent in the recent years in my experience. I can give it a try on my end and report how it went. Is there a reason you want to change something? How was the final product? I have also baked this formula using KA Sir Lancelot high gluten flour (it's great for bagels too). Protein content is def an important factor in the panettone baking process but it not the only flour characteristic to be mindful of when baking panettone. The W index is very important. When I say KA bread flour has been inconsistent what I mean mainly is its ability to withstand long periods of fermentation which as you stated is key to a product such as panettone. How was your dough behaving during the fermentation process, did the first dough do ok? There are several bakers and one Italian baker in particular who has been experimenting a lot with baking panettone with low protein flour, https://www.instagram.com/brumits_/. He is of course still using Italian milled flour I believe for most of his experiments but it challenges the whole notion of using high protein flour in panettone making. Look forward to hearing your reply.

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Feb 9, 2023Liked by Olga Koutseridi

Hi Andrew, thanks so much for your reply. The panettone turned out great, with light and feathery crumb. I was very happy with the results, especially because it was my first attempt to make panettone without commercial yeast. The only reason I might try it without the added vital wheat gluten is because I wonder if that would help achieve a very open crumb with large holes. I know that panettone requires high protein content but at the same time if the dough is too elastic and less extensible because of the gluten, that might prevent the large air pockets to form. So, I would like to see if omitting the vital wheat gluten would give me a more extensible dough and an even more open crumb. But since it is so much work to make panettone, I might not experiment but rather stick to the formula I followed last time with the added gluten to make the flour's protein content 15% because it worked last time. The first dough actually looked really nice and strong, with no degraded gluten.

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Hi Peter, this is Olga by the way, the author of the article, not Andrew. There are a lot of factors that go into creating an open crumb final product. In full transparency, the open crumb panettone masters such as Roy and Petito both use very high protein flour for their products. I would continue practicing Baking Panettone using the Giorilli’s formula until you get a real hold of all the steps such as mixing, fermenting, and proofing. Experiment with those before trying to get a specific type of final product. Also, here’s a tip for extensibility. Add more water at the end of mixing until the dough is the extensibility you want. You can add as little as 10 grams of water at a time. Good luck! Let me know if you have any other questions.

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Hi Olga, sorry for the mix up with the names. Thanks for the tip of adding more water at the end of the mix. I will definitely keep using the Giorilli formula for a while, and will not change my approach of adding extra gluten to King Arthur Bread Flour. One day I might also try it with special panettone flour but for now I will stick with KA bread flour as it produced good results last time. Thanks again for your help.

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Hello

I have a question, how to achive big holes in the panettone like roy's panettone. Is the secret in the yeast, the amount of dough in the mold, fermentation temperature.

Thank you and have a nice day

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