Tag Archives: christmas brunch

Day 13 of Baker’s Dozen: Easy Panettone

We did it. We made it to the last day of the Baker’s Dozen. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I know many organizations are off from work today, getting a head start on the holiday weekend. I hope you are all finished with your shopping and baking and can now sit back and enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones.

This is the easy version of Panettone, which is an Italian fruitcake. You will see it in stores generally in the blue boxes. I’ve never bought one of those. I worry how dry and old they may be. And the whole preservative thing (obviously it has something in it if it is shelf stable for months!) Which is probably one of the big reasons it is commonly turned into French Toast (which will be my Sunday morning brunch. Can’t wait). But the traditional way to make panettone is a very long and tedious process. And really, who has time for long and tedious this month? Not me.

After all the baking I’ve done this month, I needed the easy version.  King Arthur Flour has the easy version and it was delicious. You’ll notice that there’s a hole in my panettone. Traditional panettone is baked high with no hole, which makes for a more difficult baking process.Remember, we need easy right now.

I followed their recipe almost exactly, except that I let my biga rise for almost 24 hours  and then I tossed my dried fruit in a little rum for about 30 minutes before adding it to the dough. And that’s it.  They did such a great job with the instructions that I’m just going to give you the link. You can still make it in time for Christmas Brunch and you won’t regret it. After all your hard work this month, you deserve a treat, don’t you think? Now you can have your cake and eat it too.

King Arthur Flour American Style Panettone

Be sure to read the tips right below the ingredient list.

Warmest wishes to you and yours! Happy Holidays!

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Day 12 of Baker’s Dozen: Cranberry Brioche Coffee Cake

Surely you are all done with your holiday shopping, right? Yesterday, maybe not, but today, definitely, right? No? Well, there are quite a few stores that still guarantee holiday delivery. One happens to be my favorite baking store, Sur La Table (hint hint). Not only do they have an amazing baking supply, like these great paper baking pans, but they also have a fantastic selection of adorable foodie ornaments, which I plan on shopping for at After Christmas Sales (another favorite!).

And those paper baking pans would be perfect for today’s recipe, Cranberry Brioche Coffee Cake, which would make an amazing gift and earn you a few BFFs. Who wouldn’t love a beautiful coffee cake for a gift? Bonus: I used the Sugared Cranberries in addition to dried cranberries. Yum. And just another reason to love brioche, as if we needed another reason, right?

This recipe is one that can be very easily adapted to suit your needs. Don’t like cranberries? No problem, just add any fruit that you like. Want to make several smaller cakes? Easy.  You don’t even need to use this brioche recipe. There are a ton to chose from (just a quick google search brought up Epicurious, Food Network) or maybe you have your own that you like.

And the great thing about brioche is the dough freezes very well until you are ready for it. Maybe you want this coffee cake for Sunday morning. You could make the dough today, freeze it, take it out Saturday to thaw, and have this coffee cake in time for brunch with very little work. Or, even better, you could make it Saturday because it tastes better the next day.

This recipe came from the most recent issue of King Arthur Flour’s Baking Sheet, which I received as a housewarming gift from a dear friend (many thanks!!). However, I made a few adjustments, and I used my trusted brioche recipe and not theirs, although I’m sure it’s great and would work just fine. Enjoy!

Cranberry Brioche Coffee Cake

Adapted from King Arthur Flour’s The Baking Sheet, Holiday 2011

Yield: 1 8 inch coffee cake

Difficulty: Easy to Medium

Prep time: About 45 minutes hands on, 12+ hours for resting dough, 35 minutes for baking

Ingredients

Procedure

1. Soak the dried fruit in the alcohol or juice overnight, or microwave for 30 seconds. Note: the alcohol does not cook off completely and still has a distinct flavor. If you don’t like this, I recommend using half alcohol and half juice, or all juice. Drain before using.

2. Make the brioche recipe of your choice and have ready before rising (this does not refer to the freezing and overnight chilling if your recipe calls for that). Scale out about 500 g (17 oz) and press into a buttered 8 inch pan. I used a spring form pan but any pan will work. If you want to make mini coffee cakes, just scale out enough dough for the mini pans. If you want a bigger cake, use more brioche.

3. Let rise until puffy, preferably in a warm spot like your oven (turned off!). It took a good hour for mine because the dough was still cold and my house is chilly. If your recipe doesn’t call for any chilling, this may not take as long. Preheat oven to 400F (but take the dough out before preheating if you were proofing it in the oven).

4. Once puffy, lightly dimple the dough, but do not deflate it. Pour the cream over the dough (if using a spring form pan then make sure it is sitting on a sheet pan), then the sugar, and then the drained dried fruit. Alternately, you can lightly kneed the fruit into the dough before putting in the pan, and sprinkle a few extra on top. If you are using the sugared cranberries I’d recommend pulsing them in a food processor first.

5. Bake in preheated oven until golden and a thermometer reads 190F in the center. It took about 30 minutes for my cake. The original recipe says 23 minutes, which wasn’t long enough. Let cool completely or ideally overnight before serving. Enjoy with a cup of coffee!

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