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The Pan de Oro

Erre4m's friends, good morning and welcome to this new post. Today we will talk about Pandoro.

04 December 2020

The Pandoro is certainly, together with the panettone, one of the great sweets of Christmas.

The origin of the Pandoro, relatively recent compared to that of the panettone, is rightly linked to the city of Verona and to the Melegatti family who, in 1894, patented the recipe and the shape.

The history of Pandoro, as well as those of all the famous sweets, is lost in the legend. Everybody would like to have its paternity and in the end nobody has it... except Melegatti, obviously.

For some people the origin of Pandoro dates back even to the Roman age, but for the majority of the pastry historians we have to postpone it to the Middle Ages and precisely to the beginning of 1200 with the creation of NADALIN, a cake invented to commemorate the rise to power in the city of the arena of the Della Scala family.

The Nadalin, a typical sweet of Verona, has the shape of an eight-pointed star, it is normally a "lean" sweet in the recipe, with pine nuts and raisins inside and decorated on the surface with grains of sugar and almonds. Its dough is almost firm enough to give it its star shape and is therefore dry after cooking, in fact, the Veronese tend to taste it with a glass of Recioto wine

The genial idea of Domenico Melegatti was born from here, from the cake of his city that he wanted to transform more into a cake similar, for its softness and richness of taste, to the Panettone that had already been very popular for a long time in Lombardy and its surroundings.

History does not report the exact date of birth of the Pandoro. Presumably, in the city of Verona in the 1800s, Nadalin started to appear in pastry shops, evolved in terms of leavening and richness of taste, but Domenico, with an unscrupulous marketing choice, put an end to all possible diatribes by patenting the new version of Nadalin into what is now Pandoro.

He himself says that he was inspired by the Veronese cake, that he lightened it from the sugar and almonds on the surface, that he freed it from the pine nuts and raisins inside and enriched it with lots of butter, eggs, sugar and above all natural yeast in order to obtain something similar to panettone but even more soft, light and fragrant.

At the same time, the problem of the particular eight-pointed star shape of the Nadalin had to be solved; and here Melegatti astonished by entrusting the solution of the dilemma to the Veronese artist Angelo Dall'Oca Bianca who created a truncated cone-shaped mould with an eight-pointed star base large enough to contain a leavened dough of considerable volume.

Finally, the "poetic" invention of the name of the cake entrusted to a farm boy who, in front of a slice of the brand new cake illuminated by a ray of sunlight exclaims: L'E' PROPRIO UN PAN DE ORO (IT IS A GOLDEN PAN), concluding a commercial operation of the made in Italy known, appreciated and envied all over the world.

One of the reasons that led Domenico Melegatti to create the pandoro was also to create a cake that was difficult, indeed almost impossible, to make at home, due to the complexity of the dough, the rising times and the baking system, in order to secure a total market share.

At a distance of time, technology and preparation of the lover of leavened products, produce the pandoro at home is possible. It certainly takes technical knowledge, a lot of passion, a lot of perseverance, the right technological equipment and working hours as a baker!

Here is therefore a recipe that, we are sure, will give you much satisfaction.

The recipe is calibrated for the production of 3 pandoro of 750g each.

LIEVIT REFRIGERATION (start first refreshment at 7:00)

To start the pandoro dough it is necessary to bring in the strength of the matured mother yeast with three refreshments. The refreshed sourdough normally needs to be left to mature for 3-4 hours at 27-28°C. At the end of the second refreshment you will need to have at least 105g of yeast in strength

THIRD REFILL (beginning at 13:00)

105mother's yeast refreshed TWICE

105g manitoba flour

45g water at 19°C

Knead the ingredients at low speed until blended, raising the speed later so that a smooth, homogeneous dough is formed. Round tightly, place in a well-cleaned bowl large enough to allow it to increase in volume by 1 1/2 times. Place to rise (oven on low recommended) at 28°C until 12:30, then keep at room temperature for 30 minutes.

First kneading (starting at 17:00)

NATURAL REFRESHED YEAST +

242g manitoba flour

63g caster sugar

179whole eggs

13brewer's yeast

Knead the refreshed yeast, flour, brewer's yeast and half the eggs at low speed. Knead for 15 minutes. Still at low speed, add the remaining eggs (which we will have beaten) a little at a time taking about 30 minutes to incorporate them into the dough. Put the dough into a sufficiently large container, cover well and place in an oven at 28°C to rise for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and keep at room temperature until 5pm.

SECOND DOUGH (beginning at 21:00)

FIRST DOUGH +

473g manitoba flour

389whole eggs

50g egg yolks

284g caster sugar

421g butter soft

9g salt

21g cocoa butter

21g acacia honey

Aroma1 vanilla bean

Knead the first dough with the flour at low speed, salt, honey, vanilla and half the eggs for 20-25 minutes until the dough has gained strength. Still on low speed start putting in ¼ of the sugar, then slowly the eggs, yolks and remaining sugar for 25-30 minutes. In the meantime, cream the soft butter with the melted cocoa butter. Add the cream to the dough very slowly so that the dough remains firm (this operation can take 45-60 minutes).

Pour the dough onto a lightly buttered surface, divide into three 825g pieces, round them off well and place them in the Teflon-coated or well-buttered pandoro moulds if made of aluminium with the seal at the bottom.

Bake in the oven well covered with film at 27°C for two hours, then lower the temperature to 23°C or leave at room temperature if similar to 23°C until 10:00 the next day; the dough should have reached the edge of the mould, otherwise leave it to rise again at 23°C until it reaches the correct volume.

Take off the foil allowing the surface of the dough to harden for 1 hour at 19-20°C.

Bake at 140°C with the oven door slightly open for 45 minutes.

Once cooked, leave to cool in the mould for 30 minutes; remove gently by placing them on the mould upside down or on absorbent paper.

Let them dry well before wrapping.

This blog is edited by Enrico Gumirato, pastry chef and trainer.

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