Panettoni: Chocolate Swirl

Mini panettone is delicious and perfect for the holiday season when it is swirled with chocolate dough. Celebrate with fun shaped molds.
By Rachel Hooper

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I am completely enamoured with festive breads. So much Pandoro and Panettone get devoured round here every year that I can barely keep up supply. This year, I picked up a pack of gorgeous little pandoro basso molds and my thoughts immediately went to chocolate! Then I decided swirls would be fun.

Because it is made in so many stages, I’d recommend reading through the whole recipe first, then dividing it up to suit your schedule. The sponge and the first and second dough stages are easily done in one day, then if you don’t want to cram the whole thing in to one very long day, you can rest the dough overnight and pick it up the next morning. If the night is getting down to around 4°C (40°F), I usually just pop it out on the balcony.

Panettoni: Chocolate Swirl
 
Mini panettone is delicious and perfect for the holiday season when it is swirled with chocolate dough. Celebrate with fun shaped molds.
Author:
Recipe Type: Baking
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: Makes 1 large panettone, 6 mini panettoni or 12 muffin-sized panettoni
Ingredients
Sponge
  • 1 x 7g sachet (2¼ tsp) instant dry yeast
  • 60g (1/4 cup) warm water
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten, room temperature
  • 15g (1 rounded Tbsp) granulated (white) sugar
  • 50g (6½ Tbsp) all-purpose (plain) flour
First dough
  • 155g (1¼ cups) all-purpose (plain) flour
  • ½ tsp instant dry yeast
  • 25g (2 Tbsp) sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten, room temperature
  • 28g (2 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
Second dough
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 100g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 145g (1¼ sticks or scant ⅔ cup) unsalted butter, diced, room temperature
  • 250g (2 cups) all-purpose (plain) flour
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • 85g (3 oz) bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • extra all-purpose (plain) flour as needed for dusting surface for shaping before second rise
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp milk, for egg wash
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp pearl sugar for sprinkling
Instructions
Sponge
  1. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast into the water.
  2. Add egg yolk, sugar and flour and mix until smooth.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
First dough
  1. Add the flour, yeast, sugar and egg to sponge and mix with a wooden spoon or paddle beater. Add butter and beat until fully incorporated and the dough is smooth and stringy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Scrape down the bowl and bring the dough together in the bottom of it, then cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes to an hour.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate for the second dough in a double boiler or heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan with a little simmering water. When completely melted, remove from heat and allow to cool, stirring occasionally.
Second dough
  1. Whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla extract, add to dough and mix with a wooden spoon or dough hook on medium speed until completely combined, about 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk together flour and salt and, with the mixer running on low, add a bit at a time, scraping down the bowl as necessary and mixing well.
  3. Add butter by teaspoons, scraping down the bowl and dough hook as necessary, mixing well, about 10 minutes.
  4. Knead at low speed for 10 minutes, until dough is soft and light and comes away from the side of the bowl.
  5. Turn dough out onto a buttered surface and divide in two, roughly ⅔ and ⅓.
  6. Form the smaller dough into a ball, place seam-side down in a buttered bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
  7. Return the larger dough to the mixer and knead in the cooled melted chocolate and the cocoa powder, about 3 minutes. Form into a ball, place seam-side down in a clean buttered bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
First rise
  1. Let both doughs rise in a warm place until doubled – anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, depending on the ambient temperature. The chocolate dough will take longer than the plain dough, as it is much denser.
  2. After this rise, you can refrigerate the doughs overnight then proceed the next morning, if desired.
Shaping and second rise
  1. If refrigerated, bring the doughs to room temperature for about 2 hours.
  2. Scrape plain dough onto a lightly floured surface. Using floured hands, gently press out to as large a rectangle as you can manage.
  3. Turn the chocolate dough out and press out in the same manner to as close to the same size as you can manage.
  4. Place the plain dough on top of the chocolate dough, press out more as you can manage (the two layers don’t need to be perfect) and roll up from the long edge into a log.
  5. For one large panettone, you can join the ends and form a ring and use a buttered bundt pan, or roll the log into a snail, shape into a ball and place in a buttered round mold or cake pan. If making small panettoni, cut with a bench scraper into the desired number of pieces, gently shape into balls and press into the molds.
  6. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled – anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, depending on the ambient temperature.
Baking
  1. Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F).
  2. Brush panettoni with egg wash and sprinkle with pearl sugar.
  3. Bake small panettoni 20 minutes or large panettone 30 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 150°C (300°F) and bake another 20 – 30 minutes, depending on size, until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  4. Cool completely before cutting.
 

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