Pane con lievito naturale

Because of the stiff nature of the Italian style sourdough we encounter a reoccurring difficulty when making lean bread dough. That difficulty being excessive dough strength and the reason for this, is that unlike a wet sourdough culture the activity of protease enzymes is very minimal comparatively. Add to this the tightening effect of gluten by acid (acid makes gluten absorb more water than it would normally) we end up with a very stiff starter that requires a lot of effort to work out when introducing ingredients like water (or fat and sugar) which balance this strength with extensibility. Even when a suitably balanced dough is achieved, likely with very high hydration levels, it only gets stronger as it ferments and proves. Evidence of this can be seen when the dough rises vertically, with splitting occurring in various places.

Excessively strong dough proving

Biga acida: (12hrs at 18C)
50g lievito madre
96g water
200g flour

Final dough: (2hrs ferment at 30C, 4 hrs proof at 30C)
320g biga acida
640g flour
544g water
16g salt

Panettone Paradiso


“Extra paradise” panettone from Cresci

286    10000    Flour 280W
66     2300    Lievito Naturale
100     3500    Sugar
149     5200    Water
100     3500    Butter
   .29       10    Fresh yeast

40     1400    Sugar
57     2000    Honey
  2.86      100    Malt powder
   .86       30    Fresh yeast
100     3500    Butter
63     2200    egg yolks
86     3000    Bari Walnuts
57     2000    Raisins
29     1000    Dark choc drops
  2.86      100    Salt
——    —–    Orange zest
——    —–    Vanilla
1139.87    39840


I made two changes, one was to omit the added compressed yeast and the other was  substituting some of the walnuts with candied orange peel.

One of my finest panettoni. Incredibly soft and light which makes hard work when slicing. A fantastic bready texture that tears beautifully when pulled apart.

This is a very difficult formula to achieve success. The enriching ingredients in ratio to the flour are higher than any other panettone. This is due to their being no flour added in the second dough.