‘Tis the season… any other bakers have a Renato-like panettone obsession? Or does it bewilder you like it does Matt? Posting date is December 22!
Chocolate-Chip Orange Panettone
Yield: One 6-inch panettone, 4 inches tall
1 panettone paper mold (see “Breaking the Mold,” page 183)
3 cups bread flour, divided
1 packet active dry yeast (2 1⁄4 teaspoons)
1⁄2 cup lukewarm whole milk (100 to 110 degrees F)
1⁄4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (like Valrhona)
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup sugar
3 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks
Zest of 2 oranges (about 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
5 ounces (11⁄4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
6 ounces (about 1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
1⁄2 cup Homemade Candied Orange Peel, diced (page 182)
Lightly spray a 6-inch-round-by-4-inch-tall panettone paper mold with vegetable oil (preferably canola) and place on a baking sheet.
In a small bowl, stir together 1 cup of flour and the yeast. Add the milk and stir to com- bine. Turn the mixture out into a clean, lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside until the dough doubles in bulk, about 1 hour.
Sift the remaining flour, the cocoa powder, and the salt into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Stir in the sugar. Add the dough and mix on low speed until the mixture is shaggy.
Add the eggs, egg yolks, zest, and vanilla bean paste and mix again until the dough comes together and has a distinct shiny appearance, 4 to 5 minutes (the amount of time needed can change depending on humidity and temperature).
Switch from the paddle attachment to the dough hook attachment. Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the butter in three additions, mixing until each addition is thoroughly incorporated. Continue mixing the dough until it is elastic and smooth,
10 to 15 minutes.
Add the chocolate chips and orange peel and mix for a few more seconds. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it by hand until the chocolate chips and orange peel are evenly incor- porated. Pat the dough into a small (5- by 5- inch), thick square and tuck all four corners underneath to form a tight dome shape. Place the dough, dome side up, into the prepared mold, cover with a damp tea towel, and allow to rise in a dry place at room temperature for at least 2 hours, or until it has doubled in bulk. (It should not rise beyond the top of the panettone mold at this point; at most it should reach right up to the lip.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position the rack in the center.
Bake the panettone for 50 to 70 minutes until the inside center temperature of the bread registers 175 to 180 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. If the top of the bread darkens before it is cooked all the way through, tent it with aluminum foil until it is finished baking.
Place the panettone on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. It can be stored at room temperature, tightly covered, for up to 5 days.