For Easter Sunday I visited my sister and planned to bring Pandoro and Easter Bread. I’ve baked this Pandoro a couple of times already and I think this is the best version yet. The result was a light and sweet Pandoro. My sister and head taste tester really liked it. My sister-in-law said the Pandoro was better than those commercially made.
I had seen this on La Lama Mountain Ovens site some time ago and had set it aside for a while before trying it. This past Christmas I decided it was time to give this recipe a try. I usually have more difficulty with yeast recipes, so this one took a few tries before I got it to where I was happy with it. As you can see in the pictures I didn’t use a Pandoro pan, I used disposable aluminum pans that are similar to angel food cake pans but without the center hole.
Enjoy the recipe.
After mixing is competed.
Ready to take a bite.
Yield: 2 cakes Cook Time: 60 – 70 minutes
- 6 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 2/3 cups sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 7 large eggs, lightly beaten, divided
- 2 large yolks, lightly beaten
- 3/4 lb. unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
- 5 1/4 tsp, instant dry yeast OR 7 tsp Active Dry Yeast
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla
Step 1: Combine flours in a large bowl. Remove 3/4 cup for kneading later.
Step 2: Make your starter by placing 2 3/4 cups of the blended flour, 1/2 cup warm water, 3 eggs lightly beaten, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 stick (2 oz.) of unsalted butter and yeast in your mixer bowl. With the paddle attachment, mix until well blended. The consistency should be of a very thick pancake batter. Tightly wrap the mixer bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm draft free place until it doubles in volume. This should take 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Step 3: Combine remaining dry ingredients while the starter is rising. Add 1 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tsp salt to the blended flour and mix with a wooden spoon.
Step 4: Assemble the dough by stirring down the raised starter in the mixer bowl. Add the remaining blended flour from Step 3, the lightly beaten 4 eggs and 2 egg yolks, 2 tsp vanilla and 2 1/2 sticks of softened butter. Begin mixing at the lowest speed with the dough hook for 2 minutes. Gradually increase the mixer speed to 1/2 speed for an additional 3 minutes. Prepare your kneading surface with the 3/4 cup flour reserved for kneading. Dust your hands with flour and, using a spatula, move the dough onto the kneading surface. Gently knead while adding flour until the dough feels very silky and buttery and kneads to the point of just barely sticky. You may find it easier to use a dough knife to help with kneading. It is important not to add too much flour as the dough must remain very soft. Place the dough in an oiled large ceramic bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft free area until it doubles in volume. This should take between 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Step 5: For panning and proofing (overnight), punch down risen dough gently until deflated. Turn onto lightly floured surface and divide into two equal pieces. Roll each piece into a sausage shape and then into a tight ball. Using cupped hands on top of the dough ball, rotate the dough around in a circle continuously until the surface feels taut, always maintaining the ball shape. Do not put too much flour on the kneading surface as you want some friction between the dough and the surface it will slide on, just as you want to exert some friction on the ball with your hands as you rotate it – this is what tightens the dough ball. Finally, turn the ball over in your hand and pinch the seams which have opened up on the flat bottom tight in the center. Reverse again and place in a well buttered pandoro pan and gently pat down until surface is flat. Place the two filled pans in a warm, draft free area and let rise until the dough reaches the top of the pan, until the next day.
Step 6: Bake and de-pan by placing both pans on lower rack of preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 25 minutes, then reduce temperature to 300 degrees and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until cooked through (check at 20 minutes and then test with a toothpick or skewer every additional 10 minutes, at least twice). Remove from oven and place on cooling racks. Do not attempt to de-pan the loaves until completely cool. Remove from pans and sift confectioner’s sugar over if serving, or double wrap and freeze.
Recipe adapted from La Lama Mountain Ovens.
Tips: When handling the dough make sure your hands and all the implements you use are well dusted with flour. Use your dough scraper as one “hand” when kneading. You may consider preheating your oven to “low” for 10 minutes and then shut oven off to make a good environment for the various raising stages. This can dramatically shorten the process time from start to finish. Do not open the oven to peek until the whole baking cycle is done. It is critical to let the loaves cool to room temperature before de-panning the loaves.