December 12, 2008

In the Mood for X'mas Baking!

I'm sure many of you out there are now busy planning or involved in X'mas baking, cooking... be it for sale, gifts or just to get into the mood of it. :)

I have no idea why, this year's christmas season seems to be coming in such a rush that I don't seem to have done much x'mas baking. I've been putting off things that I wanted to bake as I'm more involved in christmas shopping this year. I've also been trying out some giant, chewy cookie recipes which I will be making as doorgifts during my unit's (company) x'mas party. Meaningful and fun yea! Heh heh... ;) Well, I still feel that baking x'mas-shaped cookies (like those frosted cut-out sugar cookies which I baked last year) would make me feel more involved in x'mas baking... Hehe....

Anyway, I did bake something christmas-y, and that was almost two weeks ago! it's something I've never tried before... Christmas bread aka The Pandoro! Haha, actually I don't know whether it should be "A Pandoro" or "The Pandoro", LOL, cos' I'm not familiar with this kind of bread at all. Stollen, Panettone..yes but not Pandoro. This recipe was beautifully printed in “孟老师的一百道面包”. A little about Pandoro here taken from the book - A Pandoro originated from North Italy, Verona. Unlike most bread, this bread contain more butter and sugar and when baked, the result is a beautifully golden crusted bread, hence also commonly known as "Golden Bread". It is traditionally baked in a star-shape mould so that when you overturn it after baking, it resembles the shape of a christmas tree. I don't have those kind of mould, hence I baked it in my 6-inch chiffon tube pan. I think it looks more like an eskimo's igloo. LOL.

Because of the large amount of fats used, the bread is golden brown (even without any colouring), with very crisp golden crust. It's very very soft and fluffy when fresh out of the oven but a little oily as well. It's very delicious eaten on its own! However, this bread doesn't keep well. After a day, it turned hard. But if you are one who likes toast, the bread tasted great when toasted because of the fine golden crust and buttery flavour. I whopped down two big pieces for my breakfast after toasted it. :P

If you can spare a bit of time, I recommend baking this bread for breakfast on a festive morning. :)
p/s: I realised I had spelt wrongly as 'Pandora' on the photo. Sorry! :P
Ingredient A:
100g bread flour
2g instant yeast
75g fresh milk
Ingredient B:
200g bread flour
60g castor sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2g instant yeast
35g egg yolk
50g whole egg
35g fresh milk
Ingredient C:
100g unsalted butter
1/4 tsp lemon rind (I omitted this)
  1. Mix ingredients A together using slow speed until well mixed to form a dough. Cover in cling wrap and refrigerate for 10 hours.
  2. Mix together the dough from step (1) with ingredients B. Beat until well mixed to form a dough.
  3. Cut butter (ingredients C) into small cubes and add into the dough. Continue beating until a smooth dough is formed.
  4. Gather the dough and form it into round shape. Put into a large mixing bowl, cover with cling wrap and let it proof for about 50 minutes.
  5. Release the air, divide the dough into two portions, shape into two round balls and placed it in the mould.
  6. Let it undergo final proofing for 60 minutes, or when dough reaches 90% full.
  7. If you are using the star-shape mould, use a metal plate to cover the opening of the mould. This is to prevent the top portion of the bread from expanding. The top needs to be flat in order to be inverted and stand like an X'mas tree.
  8. Bake at 170°C for about 35 minutes.
Recipe Source:孟老师的一百道面包
Note: I did all the kneading with my bread machine. Because of the amount of butter used, I let the machine knead for 40 minutes before a smooth, non sticky dough was done.

Happy X'mas Baking Everyone!


Anonymous said...

Hi Aimei

A delicious Italian Xmas cake. I read somewhere that Italians nowadays just go to a bakery to buy their pandoras as its difficult to make, that is to get the consistency just right. I think its also called a panettone. I used to see Cold Storage selling the panettone version both big & small in beautiful boxes made in Italy by commercial bakeries there around the Xmas time period. But since last year it has disappeared probably due to the strong Euros.

Pandora is meant to be dry becos the Italians dip it in hot chocolate drink, the Italian variety that is. Then they take the dipped pandora out & then pop it in the mouth soaked with the hot chocolate. Their hot chocolate drink is very thick & very creamy & extra yumlicious not like what is served in Spore's cafes.

May I know where did you buy the cookbook "孟老师的一百道面包"? From Popular, Times etc? How much does it cost? Is there an English version cos my written Mandarin is poor.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Aimei, your panettone looks lovely! I've come across several panettone recipes, but I'm always put off by the large amount of butter ;)

Elyn said...

Hi Aimei,

Your Pandora look good! The texture look exactly like what is in the book too! Will give it a try if I have the chance :) This is really a great book to have.

Aimei said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for the information about the Pandora. Now I guess probably why it turned dry and hard after a day. But I can imagine after toasted, it's divine when dipped in hot chocolate! :P

I bought at Kinokuniya for $29.24. Can't remember whether I bought it at a discount. I didn't see any English version one, so probably it doesn't come with it since it's published in Taiwan. It's not easy to read cos' it's in the old chinese writing version (fan2 ti3) and I'm bad at it. :P

Yeah HHB I agree. It has lots of butter and egg yolks. I would probably be making only during christmas :)

Thanks Elyn. It's really a good book. :) Remember I once emailed you to ask where to buy the book? I got so confused with the website, luckily in the end I found it at Kino and immediately bought it without hesitation! :D

sherlyn said...

Hi Aimei,

The bread look delicious and the texture looked a little like danish bread. Anyway I really love danish bread. My mother always say, anything with alot of oil and egg will taste nice.

My mum just got a bread machine, so I hope to have more time to try the bread. I guess I shd try to own the Meng Lao Shi book too. keke.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Lunar New Year to you.

Rei said...

Merry Xmas to you and your loved ones!

Aimei said...

Hi Sherlyn and Rei!

Thanks and Merry Christmas (sorry it's late though :P) and happy new year 2009! :D

Missy said...

this is lovely! i just had one last night from Marketplace. of course nothing beats self baked.
merry xmas!