Friday, February 23 2024

Pandoro, a classic Italian Christmas bread, comes from the picturesque city of Verona.

Renowned for its golden color and delicate flavor, this leavened sweet bread is traditionally shaped like a star, representing the Star of Bethlehem.


The name “Pandoro” itself is derived from the Italian words “pan d’oro,” referring not only to its color but also to its once exclusive status among the wealthy.

Today, pandoro is enjoyed by many during the holidays, often dusted with powdered sugar to imitate the snowy peaks of the Italian Alps.

 

 

MAKES 1 Pandoro

 

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (about 17.6 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick plus 6 tablespoons), softened
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (1 packet)
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, lukewarm
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
Instructions:
  1. Prepare the Dough:
    • In a large bowl, mix together 1 cup of flour, the yeast, and the lukewarm milk until it forms a smooth paste. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes, or until bubbly.
  2. Add Flavors and Eggs:
    • To the yeast mixture, add the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Whisk until well combined.
  3. Incorporate Flour and Butter:
    • Gradually mix in the remaining flour and salt. When the dough starts to come together, transfer it to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
    • Knead in the softened butter a few tablespoons at a time, ensuring it’s fully incorporated into the dough, which should become smooth and elastic.
  4. First Rise:
    • Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  5. Shape the Pandoro:
    • After the first rise, punch down the dough gently to deflate it. Shape it into a ball and place it into a greased Pandoro or star-shaped mold.
  6. Second Rise:
    • Cover the mold with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough have its second rise until it just crests the rim of the mold, about 1-2 hours.
  7. Bake the Pandoro:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Bake the Pandoro for 40-50 minutes, or until it turns a deep golden color and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool and Serve:
    • Let the Pandoro cool in the mold for about 10 minutes, then gently unmold it onto a wire rack to cool completely.
    • Dust with powdered sugar before serving to give it the classic snowy look.
Slice and enjoy your homemade Pandoro with a cup of coffee or a sweet dessert wine. This Italian Christmas bread is sure to add a touch of elegance to your holiday table. Enjoy!
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