Panettone may qualify as the holy grail of holiday breads.
The cylindrical-shaped Italian bread with a light, airy interior studded with bits of dried fruit, relies heavily on time, temperature and technique.
“You’d be hard pressed to find a more challenging dough,” a baker told The New York Times earlier this week.
Kansas City’s Farm to Market Bread Co. bakes its holiday panettone mid-November through Jan. 1. (The bakery also bakes stollen, a dense German Christmas nut and raisin bread with a marzipan center that is “swaddled” in powdered sugar after it is baked.)
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John Friend, vice president of the artisan company his father founded, says making the dough is a two-day process that requires 18 hours of fermentation.
Production manager Max Watson showed me how to form the wet, buttery dough studded with cranberries, candied oranges and toasted almonds during a recent Chow Town Facebook Live shot in the production bakery on 20th Street. The panettone is baked in a parchment collar so it creates a cupola or dome shape. When removed from the ovens, the loaves are hung upside down from a spike to cool. The best way to cut the bread is slices or wedges using a serrated knife.
Several viewers say they use the panettone for French toast. Chef Jasper Mirabile of Jasper’s Restaurant uses the panettone to make Jasper Mirabile’s Panettone Bread Pudding with Shatto holiday eggnog, a recipe he features at the restaurant and shared with Chow Town readers in 2013.
Farm to Market panettone and stollen sell for $11.99 each. It is widely available in local grocery stores.