“A tavola non si invecchia”. - Italian proverb (At the table with good friends and family you do not become old).

Sharing authentic Italian recipes entrusted upon me through the privilege of being invited into many Italian homes and kitchen’s abroad. I travel, cook, eat, share, learn and photograph my experiences, a truly soul enriching journey. There are now over 100 recipes on this blog to search from. I am a Melbourne born girl who now resides in Pietrasanta, Italy. Sharing my love for food and all things Italian with you. I am not a professionally trained chef, just a person that really loves cooking and has made my passion my reality! Through talent and drive I now work as a private chef in some of the most prestigious private villa`s here in Versilia, Italy!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Il pandoro

What are the fundamentals for creating a child? Although I have never been pregnant nor given birth I can imagine that much patience is needed, time, care, sometimes discomfort and a lot love. These are also the basic fundamentals needed for making the perfect pandoro. And after all of these factors have been applied a child or should I say a pandoro is born! 
Pandoro is a traditional sweet yeast bread always found during the Christmas period in Italy. In fact you will find numerous varieties in multi coloured boxes in most Italian homes during Christmas. Last year I was gifted a minimum of ten, quite comical considering I live alone. They are often served and  dusted with icing sugar flavoured with vanilla. More recently some people hollow them out and place chantilly cream or ice-cream inside. I find that this serves well for the commercially purchased varieties. However in my opinion this is a complete injustice to the flavour and respect commanded for a homemade pandoro.
For all of those who have shared in my pandoro journey we now rejoice in the birth of my child- and we can also eat it!
STEP ONE to make the mother yeast:
15 grams of fresh yeast
60 grams of warm water
50 grams of flour 00
10 grams of sugar (a pinch)
one egg YOLK
In a large bowl add the warm water to the yeast and combine well, then the sugar, then the flour and egg yolk. Whisk together well ensuring there are no lumps.
Cover with a tea-towel and place in a dark and warm place for an hour. The liquid will become almost double in size and should become thick and creamy (featured above).
melted butter      this is 15 grams of fresh yeast
STEP TWO to make the first round of dough (featured above):
250 grams of flour 00
3 grams of fresh yeast
two tablespoons of tepid water
one tablespoon of sugar
30 grams of butter
one egg
Add the flour and the egg to the 'mother yeast'. In a small pan melt the butter, then add the yeast, water and sugar. Add this liquid to the mother yeast, flour and egg mixture. Use a spoon to bring all of the ingredients together. Once they are blended use your floured hands to then place the dough on a floured surface and knead together into a ball (as featured below). This will only take a minute.
Place the dough ball in a lightly butter bowl, cover with a tea-towel and allow to rest and rise for one hour in a dark warm place. This will double in size

STEP THREE to make the second round of dough:
200 grams of flour 00
100 grams of sugar
one teaspoon of salt
two eggs
one stick of vanilla (remove seeds)
140 grams of butter at room temperature 
To the first round of dough add all of the above ingredients but NOT THE BUTTER.
Use a spoon to bring all of the ingredients together. Once they are blended use your floured hands to then place the dough on a floured surface and knead together into a ball (as featured below). This will only take a minute.
Like with the first round of dough place the dough ball in a lightly butter bowl, cover with a tea-towel and allow to rest and rise for one hour in a dark warm place. This will double in size, or in my case triple in size.
Then place the dough in the fridge for half and hour
STEP FIVE
Roll out on a well floured surface a large rectangle shape with the dough. Place the room temperature butter in the middle
STEP SIX
 Fold in the two longest outer edges into the centre
STEP SEVEN
 Then fold the two longest outer edges into the centre
STEP EIGHT
Then fold in two as displayed above. Place the dough like this is a lightly buttered bowl and allow to rest for half an hour. Then place in the fridge for half an hour.
STEP NINE
Remove from the fridge and repeat the top three steps THREE MORE TIMES. Roll out, fold, fold, fold, then place in fridge for half an hour each time


STEP TEN
Place the dough in a well buttered and floured pandoro tin (as featured below). Place the tin in a warm place to allow to rise for 8-10 hours. My house is really cold so I placed it in the oven with just the light on. The rising time will vary depending on the elements. Make sure you keep your eye on it during the final rising hours.
the dough in the mould and the risen dough after eight hours
STEP ELEVEN
Place the risen dough in a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees for fifteen minuets. Then reduce the oven to 150 and bake for a further ten minuets. Use a skewer to ensure it is cooked through. Rest for ten minuets then turn out the pandoro
Serve up-side down and sprinkle with icing sugar 
#pandoro #buonadomenica #christmas #dough #cibo #bambino #levito #yeast #italy #italia #stampino #forma #impasto #burro #butter

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