The seasonal bake-fest continues with another Italian classic, pandoro. This fluffy, golden sweet bread comes from the northern city of Verona, home of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, the Taming of the Shrew and the Two Gentlemen thereof. It is traditionally baked in a tall, 8 pointed star shaped mold, but can be made in a cake pan or other round mold.
This recipe was halved (the original recipe makes two, but I only have one mold) and slightly adapted from one my favourite baking books, Carol Field’s The Italian Baker – she adds lemon essence and peel, but I opted to keep it plain with just a hint of vanilla. While we prefer to eat it with just a heavy dusting of icing sugar, it can also be served with a sweet sauce – there are some great recipes here.
1 x 7g sachet active dry yeast
60g warm water
1 large egg yolk
15g (1 tbsp) sugar
50g all-purpose (plain) flour
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast into the water and let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes.
Add egg yolk, sugar and flour and mix until smooth.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
190g pastry flour (low gluten, type 00 flour)
215g all-purpose (plain) flour
1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp warm water
25g (2 tbsp) sugar
1 large egg
28g unsalted butter, room temperature
Mix flours in a bowl and measure out 1 1/4 cups for this dough, setting the remainder aside for the second dough.
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast into the water and let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes.
Add the dissolved yeast, sugar, egg and 1 1/4 cups mixed flours to sponge and mix with a wooden spoon or paddle beater. Add butter and beat until fully incorporated.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes to an hour.
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
100g (1/2 cup) sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
145g unsalted butter, room temperature
reserved mixed flours
1/2 tsp salt
extra all-purpose (plain) flour as needed for dusting surface if kneading by hand and for shaping before second rise
Add eggs, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla extract to first dough and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or paddle beater.
Add butter gradually, mixing well.
Add reserved mixed flours and salt.
If using a stand mixer, change to dough hook and knead at low speed for about 5 minutes, until dough is soft and light. It will be very soft and sticky.
Scrape dough into a buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled – anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, depending on the ambient temperature.
Scrape dough onto a well-floured surface. Using floured hands, gently shape into a ball and place in buttered pandoro mold (or cake pan), cover with a floured kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled – anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, depending on the ambient temperature.
Preheat oven to 175°C. Bake pandoro 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 150°C and bake another 20 – 30 minutes, until golden and a wooden skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Cool completely before removing from mold.
Dust generously with powdered sugar before serving.