Panettone aside, the Italians enjoy another delicious cake that simply must be part of all Christmas festivities. The Pandoro originally comes from Verona and was supposedly first baked in the 18th century. While historians assume that it is based on the French brioche, Italian experts insist on its Renaissance origin. It was even plated with gold leaves in the rich city of Venice (Pan d’oro literally means “golden bread”). The cupola-shaped cake with its characteristic golden yellow colour comes without the raisins and candied fruit usually found in the Panettone, but still – or, you might think, thus – tastes absolutely delicious. Do you want to bake this Christmas dessert yourself? We have the perfect recipe for you!
- 650 g flour
- 250 g butter
- 200 g sugar
- 8 eggs
- 30 g baker’s yeast
- 1 glass of liquid cream
- Grated lemon peel
- 1 package of vanilla sugar
- 50 g icing sugar
Here we go:
First sieve the flour into the mixing bowl and cave a dent into the middle. Heat up 20 g of sugar with the cream to lukewarm temperature, crumble the yeast into it and let it dissolve. Now pour the mix of yeast, sugar and cream into the dent and stir it into a mush with some flour. Flour it a little, then cover it for 20 minutes putting it in a warm place. You can continue as soon as the mush forms some bubbles.
Now add vanilla sugar, the remaining regular sugar, lemon peel, 150 g of butter, and the eggs, and knead it into a smooth dough. Cover it and lest it rest in a warm place (ideally a pre-heated oven at 35°C) for 2 to 3 hours until it has doubled in volume. Now knead the dough into a ball. Thinly grease the mould (ideally a Pandoro form or a brioche form) with the remaining butter, then lightly flour it. Put the dough into the form with the smooth side down, cover it again and let it rest in a warm place until the dough has risen to the upper edge of the mould (approx. 2 hours).
Time for the final act: Bake for 20 minutes at 180°C in the pre-heated oven on the lowest rack, then for another 40 minutes at 160°C. If you think the surface is turning too dark, wrap it in tin foil. Take out the Pandoro and let it cool off. Turn it out of the mould, dust it with lots of icing sugar and serve.
Well, how does it taste? Pandoro is more than “just” an Italian Christmas alternative, it is a truly delicious, very juicy and fluffy cake that virtually melts on your tongue. Happy baking and enjoy your cake!