This breadreminds me of snow globes, those glass balls with snow inside, that you turn upside-downand make them come alive. Pandoro is an italian sweet bread, with a flavorunlike any other.
The breadis wrapped inside a clear bag, tied, and a packet of powdered sugar, usuallyvanilla flavored, is attached to it. When you´re ready to eat it, you empty thepacket inside, close the bag, give it a few shakes and out comes a white bread,completely covered in the sugar.
It´s magical and festive. Let´s hope 2013 turns up that way too.
Before yousay anything, I know it´s upside down. The smaller part should be the top, but Iserve it the other way around, because it usually doesn´t stand straightotherwise, and I don´t want a falling pandoro.
This bread is part of the Twelve Loaves baking group. The theme this month is a clean slate to start the year. Way too many options for a baking fanatic like myself, but then, I had wanted to make Pandoro in december, and since that obviously didn´t happen, this was the perfect occasion. Read below for details about this group.
This isanother egg and butter bread, like brioche or pulla. But the texture and flavorare completely different. Interesting how similar ingredients can deliver suchdifferent results. It´s a very simple sweet plain bread.
This recipeis the only one I ever made, and I don’t think I ever want to find another one.It consists of a yeast starter and two more steps until the dough is resting,but it gets done in less than a day, with a small amount of hand-on time, as itusually happens with yeast breads.
A standing mixer is highly recommended; thoughit can be made by hand, well, it will be somewhat messy and you’ll end uphating me. And I want us to keep on being friends.
As it usually happens, mostyeast bread fanatics own a stand mixer, like myself, who got it as a weddinganniversary more than ten years ago. Seeing how my (ex) husband was very intogiving me jewelry for important occasions, I had a serious talk with him andmade sure he understood that, for me, things like a kitchen aid were far morelife altering than any ring.
Back tothis sweet bread, you can add some chopped candied lemon, but I think thebeauty of it resides in it’s clean, unassuming appearance, and theextraordinary flavor that you discover when you take a bite. The crumb istender, so tender it almost melts in your mouth. And the mix of vanilla extractand lemon zest, a small amount of each, gives it an undefined flavor. Like theflavor of these alfajores.
The recipeuse cake flour and bread flour together. This mix of flours works so well withthese type of doughs I highly recommend you don’t change that. The first time Imade this, was with cake flour only. I took the breads to a friend´s house onnew year’s eve. They own a few bakeries, a family business started by myfriend’s grandfather who was an Italian immigrant. His father was there, whohas been a bread baker all his life, and he immediately said it was missingsome texture. So the recipe was right about using both flours.
from The Italian Baker,by Carol Field
IngredientsFor the sponge
4 ¼teaspoons active dry yeast
½ cup warmwater
2 Tbs sugar
¾ cup(100g) all purpose or bread flour
For the first dough
3 cups + 3 Tbs (380g) pastry or cake flour
3 ¼ cups (435g) all purpose or bread flour
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 Tbs warm water
¼ cup sugar
½ stick (55g) unsalted butter, room tº
For the second dough
2 egg yolks
1 cup (200g) sugar
Reserved mixed flours
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon or 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
2 ½ sticks (285g) unsalted butter, at room tº
4 Tbs + ½ cup all purpose flour for kneading, if necessary
Confectioners´ sugar, to serve
Clear cellophane bags
For the spongeIn the bowlof the electric mixer, stir the yeast into the water and let stand 5 minutes,until foamy. Add egg, sugar and flour and mix with a wooden spoon until wellcombined.
Let stand,covered with plastic wrap, until doubled, about 30 minutes.
For the first dough
Mix the twoflours together. Measure 2 ½ cups of this mix that will be used for the firstdough, and reserve remaining for second dough.
In a smallbowl stir the water with the yeast and let rest 5 minutes, until foamy.
Add yeastmixture, sugar, eggs and flour to the sponge. Mix with the paddle attachmentuntil well combined. Add the soft butter and beat until well blended. Coverwith plastic wrap and let rest until doubled, about 45 minutes.
For the second dough
Add eggs,yolks, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest to the first dough and beat well with thepaddle attachment. Gradually add the softened butter and mix until wellincorporated. Add reserved flour and salt in ½ cup additions. Change to thedough hook and knead 8 to 10 minutes. The dough should be soft, buttery anddelicate. It should not clean the sides of the bowl completely, but add up to ½cup more flour if the dough is still too wet.
Place thedough in a buttered bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rest in awarm place until doubled in volume, anywhere between 2 to 4 hours.
Sprinklethe top of the dough with the 4 Tbs flour. Turn out onto a well-floured surfaceand, with floured hands, cut the dough in half with a dough scraper or a knife.
Shape eachhalf into a loose ball and place in well buttered or sprayed star-shapedpandoro molds. Cover with a clean towel and let rise until doubled, between 2 ½to 4 hours.
Preheat oven30 minutes before baking to 350º F /180ºC.
Bake breadsfor 30 minutes. Reduce oven tº to 300ºF/150ºC and continue baking for another30 minutes. If the top is too brown cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Let cool onwire rack and unmold.
Dust withconfectioners´ sugar and shake inside the bag before serving.
Here is what the rest of the group made to kick-start the year:
#TwelveLoavesJanuary: Clean Slate. Bake a bread, yeast or quick bread, loaf or individual.
January #TwelveLoaves is all about a clean slate. After the holidayindulgences, we are starting the year with simplicity. Share with us your favorite basic bread recipes.Let’s get baking!
Just followthe rules, it’s as easy as pie:
1. When youpost your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention theTwelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members aswell as share everyone’s posts. Please make sure that your Bread is inspired bythe theme!
2. Pleaselink your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a breadbaked to the Twelve Loaves theme.
3. Haveyour Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this January, 2013 posted on your blogby January 31, 2013.
Would youlike to bake along with us? The #TwelveLoaves bread baking project was createdby Lora at Cake Duchess; a monthly baking adventure created for thelove of bread. Drop Lora a line to join in on this monthly bread baking fun!