Chocolate panettone recipe by Matt Tinder

Matt baking in the shadow of the remnants of a chocolate panettone everyone in the Meadowood kitchen just gorged on.

Matt baking in the shadow of the remnants of a chocolate panettone everyone in the Meadowood kitchen just gorged on.

Here’s a recipe for the season that took most-talented pastry chef Matt Tinder almost 1000-kg of flour and four years of sweat and tears to perfect. This is the ultimate of baking challenges. As he puts it, it’s a recipe that depends more on what feels right than ratios and measurements. So you have to go through it more than a few times to figure out what each stage should look, smell, taste, and feel like. Or you can just buy one from one of the places I listed at the end here for Bon Appetit.

2 loaves, serves 20

The Mother

600g Raw apple juice

600g Bread flour (use 13-16% protein flour, Central Milling’s High Mountain works)

Combine apple juice and flour in clean bowl and set out at room temperature for 12 hours.

The Boy and the Girl. Matt keeps the mother on rotation.

The Boy and the Girl. Matt keeps the mother on rotation.

Jenna Hodges, pastry cook at Meadowood, finishes feeding the mother.

Jenna Hodges, pastry cook at Meadowood, feeds the mother.

Feeding the Mother  

400g Mother

440g Bread flour

200g Water

In a mixer, combine mother, flour, and water until it comes together as a very stiff dough with a tight smooth skin. Put in a container with ample space, and leave in a warm place (81- 83F) for four hours. It should triple in size. If not start again.

Repeat the feed twice every day for at least six days, each time weighing out 400g of mother to begin. Control acidity by bathing the mother each morning in water with a pinch of sugar for about 10 minutes before feeding.

Mix low and slow to keep down the heat if you don't have a punching mixer.

Mix low and slow to keep down the heat especially if you don’t have a punching mixer.

First dough

Start this stage only if you are prepared to bake 20 hours from now. If mixing with a dough hook, always set at low speed to avoid heating the dough. Better is one of those diving arms Artofex mixers, or so I’ve heard.

480g Bread flour

10g Diastatic malt powder (not the stuff for milkshakes)

150g Mother

240g Water

78g Egg yolks (very cold)

130g Sugar

170g Butter (room temperature)

In a mixer, combine in this order—flour, malt, mother, water—mixing about 10 minutes in total.

In a separate bowl, mix egg yolks and sugar, then add the egg-sugar mixture to the dough a little at a time, mixing about 10 minutes until well-incorporated. Then add butter a little at a time to the dough, mixing about 10 minutes more. Dough should be homogeneous and strong (balling up around the hook).

Put in a container with ample space to allow it to triple, and leave in a warm place for 12 hours.

Matt’s tidy mise en place for the second dough.

Mix until everything is really well emulsified. Matt says it's hard to overmix.

Mix until everything is really well emulsified. Matt says it’s hard to overmix.

Second dough

120g flour

20g sugar

First dough

In a mixer, combine flour and sugar. Then add the first dough to the flour-sugar mixture, mixing about 10 minutes.

100g sugar

156g yolks

8g salt

230g butter

40g honey

150g Milk chocolate, chopped

150g Dark chocolate, chopped

2 Round molds

In a bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar. Reserve a few spoonfuls. In a mixer, add the egg-sugar mixture to the dough a little at a time, mixing about 8 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the last bit of the egg-sugar mixture with salt, then slowly add that to the dough, mixing about 3 minutes. Then add butter to the dough a little at a time, about 10 minutes. (Don’t worry too much about overmixing.) The dough should be homogenous and strong.

Add honey and chocolate, mixing until well incorporated.

Spray work surface with vegetable oil. Measure out two 1040g portions of dough, and allow to rest 20 minutes.

Shape into tight rounds and place each in a mold. Set in warm place to rise for six to eight hours. Dough should crest over the mold about a half-inch.

Cut a shallow cross in the top.

Getting the dough into tight rounds is harder than it looks.

Getting the dough into tight rounds is harder than it looks.

Bake at 345F for about 45–50 minutes (internal temperature should reach 199.4F).

Remove from oven and immediately punch two metal skewers about 5” apart, flush with the bottom of the mold. Invert panettone and hang upside down for 8 to 12 hours before serving.

This is Matt. He moves so fast that he looks like a hummingbird in most of my photos--just a blur of energy and light.

This is Matt. He moves so fast when he’s baking that he looks like a hummingbird in most of my photos—just a blur of energy and motion.

(All pics by me, Tienlon Ho.)

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2 thoughts on “Chocolate panettone recipe by Matt Tinder

  1. Few questions: 1) Do you store the mother during the 6 days in room temperature? 2) After the 6 days of feeding the mother, if you are still not ready to bake 20 hours later, do you still need to maintain the twice daily feeding regimen until use? Or can you store it in the fridge, feeding it periodically to maintain the mother?

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