Sunday, 14 December 2014

Mini Cranberry and Orange Panettones

I love a slice of panettone at Christmas - dusted liberally with icing sugar and accompanied by a cup of tea it's light enough to be the perfect follow up to a heavy meal.

So when I was invited to an international Christmas meal, I thought panettone would be perfect. Only this being me, I wanted to do a twist on the classic panettone by replacing the raisins and sultanas in a normal panettone with cranberries and orange peel.

And I kinda shrunk it too:

I've said it before, I'll say it again: small is cute. And I'm not just saying that because I'm slightly under average height and therefore have a vested interest in extolling the virtues in all things small. It's also a lot easier to serve a panettone if it already comes in individual servings.

If you have a standing mixer or a handheld mixer with a dough hook you will want to use it for this because it's a very moist dough and quite hard to knead by hand. If you are kneading by hand you will need to flour your hands very well to deal with this sticky mixture!

You will need:

400g strong white bread flour
7g salt
40g caster sugar
10g fast-action dried yeast
120ml lukewarm milk (semi-skimmed or full fat)
4 eggs, whisked
100g unsalted butter, softened
grated zest of 2 oranges
juice of ½ an orange
100g mixed candied peel
100g dried cranberries
100g flaked almonds
greaseproof paper 
12-hole muffin tray

For the topping:
2 egg whites
25g caster sugar plus extra for dusting
25g ground almonds
50g flaked almonds 

1. Put the flour in a large mixing bowl and add the salt and sugar on one side and the yeast on the other side.

2. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the milk, eggs and butter and mix. If you're using the standing mixer, mix on slow speed for 3 minutes before ramping it up to medium for 4 minutes. If you're kneading by hand, beat in the wet ingredients with a wooden spoon until a dough starts to form and then get your hands involved. Tip the dough into a bowl and cover with clingfilm then leave to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.

3. When the dough has risen, knock it back by pushing down with your knuckles and knead in the orange juice, orange zest, candied peel, cranberries and flaked almonds. 

4. Cut out 24 squares of greaseproof paper about 8cm by 8cm and lay one across each of the holes in the muffin tray, then lay another on top at an angle to the first. Divide the dough into 12 portions and put one in each of the muffin holes. Wrap in clingfilm or tie inside a large bag and leave to rise for about 2-3 hours until doubled in size.

5. While the panettones are proving, preheat the oven to 200C. When they have risen, bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the egg whites, caster sugar and ground almonds for the topping together. Take the panettones out the oven, brush the topping across them and sprinkle with the flaked almonds and a little more caster sugar. Lower the oven setting to 180C and cover the panettones with foil if you think they are browning a little too much and bake for another 10 to 20 minutes.

6. When the panettones are golden brown, remove from the oven and leave to cool.

They don't resemble the traditional panettone, but I think they're lovely. And there's something about the greaseproof paper wrapping which is quite nice - simple but elegant.

Happy baking,


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