It’s been a while since I wrote here, and that’s mainly because I’ve been crazy busy. Too crazy busy to even cook something right – No, OK, that’s a lie. I’ve been too crazy busy to photograph or take a video, but I’ve still been cooking like a crazy person.
That said, Christmas is just around the corner, and I couldn’t possibly not post a Pandoro recipe here. I haven’t made one yet, because – please don’t get mad – I still don’t have the right pan for it. That probably won’t stop me, so tomorrow morning I will go out and buy me a very deep cake pan and I’ll try my luck in there. That would be too late for you, though, and one Christmas without Pandoro is one Christmas gone forever.
Pandoro is one of Christmas’ Most Wanted dishes in Italian houses. In Italy, it’s origins are from Veneto (in the north) but in reality it comes from Austria, and more particularly Vienna. It has been completely integrated in the Italian tradition and is now a must-have. So much so, that an Italian acquaintance that’s spending Christmas in Greece almost had a heart attack when she realized we have no Pandoro and rushed to call her mom to make sure she would get one.
It is similar to Panettone minus all the dried fruit and raisins and it is shaped as an 8-point star and dusted with vanilla-sugar in a way that it is made to resemble the tops of the Italian Alps in the winter. So lyrical, right?
It is decadent and buttery and it can be devoured with gelato, cream, or the day after Christmas, while you’re sitting by the fireplace in your thick socks, drinking milk and resting your eyes. Or in your bed, with coffee, reading your favorite Neil Gaiman. Or whatever you’re reading, no pressure!
So, you see, I could not, in clear conscience, not post a Pandoro recipe, AGAIN. Instead, I’m bringing you something I’ve never done before: the recipe I intend to try out, before trying it out.
In all fairness, GialloZafferano is a very dependable cooking page, I trust them and I can safely say that the recipe will work perfectly. If something changes (which it won’t), I will post it here.
Till then, here is their Pandoro recipe, translated (not word for word) in English, for your pleasure and enjoyment. Keep in mind that this is NOT an easy recipe, but it is not extremely difficult either. And it takes two days, so get cooking! And it’s totally worth it.
What you’ll need:
18gr Beer yeast
450gr Strong Flour
125gr plus 1 Tb sugar
3 whole eggs and 1 yolk
The beans of 1 vanilla pod
1 tsp salt
60ml plus 3 Tb milk
What you’ll need to do:
We start by preparing the first dough: In a small bowl mix 15gr of the bear yeast in 60ml lukewarm milk, add one Tb sugar, the egg yolk, 50 gr flour and mix everything well. Cover this first mixture and let double in size (about an hour).
When double in size, dissolve 3 gr of beer yeast in 3 Tb milk and add to the mix, add 100 gr sugar, the egg, mix everything and put this mixture in a bowl with 200 gr of flour. Knead using your hands or a wooden spoon. Then add 30gr of butter in room temperature and knead till everything is one and you have a smooth mixture. Cover and let double in size in room temperature (not cold, not very hot, not humid, it should take about an hour).
Proceed with the second dough: Unite 200gr of flour, two eggs, 25gr sugar, salt, the vanilla seeds and mix. Flatten the dough, fold it on itself and put it in a butter greased bowl and let double in size. Leave the dough in the fridge, to rest for 8 to twelve hours.
Note: whenever you leave something in the fridge, cover it with plastic or place it in a plastic food bag, so it does not absorb smells from other foods. Unless the fridge is empty (which never happens in Greece or Italy, we will always have tomatoes or cheeses in our fridge, no matter what)
When that time has passed, turn the dough on the table and roll it with a pin making a square. Put 140gr of softened butter in the center, bring the four corners to the center so as to make a square pack and cover the butter. Make sure you close the edges of your dough very well, so that the butter won’t escape.
Roll it well with the pin, fold it in three (bring the bottom to the middle and cover it with the top, like a letter) and let rest for 15-20 minutes in the fridge.
Take it out of the fridge, roll it again, and let it rest in the fridge for 15-20 minutes more. Again, take it out of the fridge, roll it one more time, bring the edges to the center as before and make a ball, turning the edges to the inside. When you have formed the ball, grease your hands with butter and roll the ball on the table, leaving it with the butter and making it more round.
Grease the Pandoro form (20 cm high, capacity of 3lt) with butter, put the dough in the form, cover and let rise until it comes out of the top of the form. Place a small bowl of water on the lower part of the oven and bake the Pandoro in a preheated oven at 170 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes, then lower the heat at 160 and let it bake for another 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
When ready, remove from the oven and let it cool down. Sprinkle with vanilla scented confectioners sugar and enjoy in any way you like!
Happy holidays everyone!