Once it was just a question of brands, but the panettone was always the classic panettone traditional dessert born in Milan but famous throughout Italy, and even beyond the border, thanks to the many Italians who have been able to export it. Over time, however, especially in the last 10 years, if you notice so many variations of this dessert have sprung up that have created a bit of confusion. If we go to the supermarket to buy one, we can fall prey to enormous doubts. How to choose the panettone? Beyond the tastes, to be respected, it is important that it is a healthy and genuine product.
There are versions without raisins and those without candied fruit, those enriched with chocolate flakes or dried fruit. There is panettone for celiacs and those allergic to dairy products ... how many panettone! Those who also opt for the traditional recipe must understand how to choose between the many brands, the offers, the packaging that is not always zero-waste with regards to the use of paper and cardboard.
How to choose the panettone: tips
Let's find out together what are the fundamental aspects to take into consideration to get to buy the best panettone on the market.
- Shape. This dessert is good but also has a shape that makes it look soft and delicate. It is mushroom-shaped, has a soft and welcoming dome that has the duty to protrude from the trunk.
- The crust. The upper surface must also show itself in a certain way. There must be no large cracks or splits, the brown must be dark, a sign of proper cooking but not scorched.
- The paper. The paper in which the panettone is wrapped for cooking and which then remains to wrap its lower part is called the cup. It is a special greaseproof paper, which must be able to contain the cake and support it so that while it swells while cooking it does not create hollows.
- The cross cut. Perhaps it is not always noticed, but each panettone must have an engraved cross on its dome. It is not a decorative scarp but an essential cut to ensure that the cooking takes place in a regular and uniform way. This for a light, soft and tasty result.
- Candied fruit and raisins. Inside, even if some don't like them, we find these tasty ingredients, in varying quantities. However, you can understand by looking at how many emerge on the surface. A well-made panettone must have distributed them evenly. The raisins found inside must be soft and juicy, the candied fruit must have a certain consistency and not appear too hard to chew or microscopic. Sometimes there are panettone that, to save money, have only orange ones but the recipe also includes the most sought-after ones, with cedar.
- Egg. Continuing to talk about ingredients, let's move on to egg. Only the yolk is used and there must be at least 4%. It is this element that gives the pasta its color, the more there is, the more yellow it is.
How to choose the panettone: test
There are no scientific tests to evaluate the quality of a panettone but only of the Experimental tests that can help us understand if we have chosen well. There test of taste and aroma is the most important. We need to feel the classic flavor, a little sour but sweet, typical of leavened sourdoughs. It does not always happen: when the cooking has been excessive, the crust becomes loved and with the scorched raisins and sour.
Then there is the cutting test. There must be no holes in the dough which must be soft and soft to the touch but not wet. Trouble if the bottom is scorched. The holes of the soft dough are very important, they are the most difficult part of the dessert because they tell the invoice. Let's check them distribution. They must be large, not like in the pandoro dough, and never homogeneous, because they are the result of natural leavening.
How to prepare panettone at home
If we are dissatisfied with the offer or are curious to know if we are able to cook this dessert, here is the recipe.
Let's not start from the idea of making a light version of it because it would no longer be panettone, the real one contains egg yolk, candied fruit and raisins and must rise naturally, obtained from the previous processing. For the dough you need:
- wheat flour;
- category “A” chicken eggs and / or yolk (not less than 4% in yolk);
- butter for at least 15%;
- raisins and candied citrus peel (including cedar) in a quantity not less than 20% and preferably have the same proportion
- natural yeast consisting of sourdough.
Other ingredients can enrich this already perfect recipe by itself, but the real panettone is like that. At this link you can find how to prepare it at home. If you just want to enjoy it, you can buy a excellent knife for the holidays.