It’s hard to tell if you’re in for a great panettone until you cut it. (And if you don’t think there is such a thing as great panettone, read on.)
Inside, the exquisite panettone has a creamy yellow crumb, citrus-scented and rich enough to leave your fingers lightly buttery when you take a bite. Here are ways to improve your odds of finding a good one.
Some major bakeries in the United States make the traditional panettone every year at Christmastime, although quantities are limited: Cosita in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Emporio Rowley in Larkspur, California, Citypany And the Sullivan Street Bakery in New York City and bread and salt In Jersey City, NJ San Francisco Bakery from Roy It produces panettone all year round.
Beyond that, the rule of thumb for buying panettone is the same as buying most packaged foods: the fewer ingredients, the better.
By Italian law, a classic panettone labeled “Made in Italy” must contain flour, sugar, eggs (and extra egg yolks), and a high percentage of butter and candied citrus. But it is also allowed to contain ingredients such as cocoa butter, milk, malt syrup, “natural flavors”, some emulsifiers, stabilizers and preservatives. The fewer of these, the better the panettone is likely to be.
A Panettone made elsewhere, such as Bauducco from Brazil or D’Onofrio from Peru (with candied papaya), is not subject to Italian laws. The chocolate panettone is also (delicious) free for all.
The panettone can be sliced like a cake, or cut in half from top to bottom, and then into even slices. Even without preservatives, this naturally fermented panettone, well packaged, keeps for a full month. Slices of banneton can be wrapped and frozen. and stale panettone makes for bread pudding and French toast.
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