Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Yesterday was a major bread baking day for me. The day before I prepared the starter for sourdough and another for panettone. I also refreshed my barm and put it in a zip lock bag in the freezer. The process for making the bread isn't difficult, nor is it time consuming for the baker, but it does take a long time.

After letting the starter come to room temperature for at least an hour, you mix the dough ingredients together. Next you knead the bread, adding any other ingredients (the sourdough loaves got fresh rosemary while the panettone breads got slivered almonds). Then you place the bread in bowls, cover with plastic wrap, leave at room temperature, and wait.

And wait...

This rise takes place for anywhere from 2 hours (panettone) to 4 hours (sourdoughs). Then you divide the dough into how you want to bake it. For the panettone, I decided to make 1 large loaf, made in a cake pan lined with parchment, and some muffins. I only own 1 regular sized muffin tray, so I also made a tray of mini-muffins. The sourdough was divided into 2 round shaped loaves. Next, you wait some more.

And wait...

Another 2 hours for the panettone and another 4 hours for the sourdough. The reason for all of the waiting? You're letting the flavor develop. You're also letting the bread rise. After such long waits, the baking goes along relatively quickly. The large panettone loaf took an hour and a half to bake up while the smaller ones took just 15 minutes for the mini muffins and 25 minutes for the large muffins. The sourdough loaves took a mere 30 minutes.

Shawn tasted a panettone mini muffin last night and liked it. I used candied cherries, candied citron, dried Asian pears, dried apricots, and raisins. The dried fruits came from our pantry and were made last fall. The fruit was soaked in light rum and triple sec. I'm looking forward to having a large muffin for breakfast. We're going to share some of the muffins with Shawn's co-workers.

1 comment:

ahall said...

wonder if you would be willing to share your recipe.

i have been experimenting with panetonne and haven't successfully made one that is tall, stretchy and light.

sure would appreciate if you do.
i have several cookbooks, each one with different variations on the recipe. i'd love to try the one you, as a baker, had acheived success with. thanks. amy. My email address: