Homemade sweet bread: three recipes from great chefs for these holidays


Despite the high temperatures that surround the Christmas and New Year holidays, Argentines are embracing the tradition of sweet bread and European panettone. Three foolproof recipes to recreate

It is the flagship product of the holiday season. There’s something for everyone, from those who prefer to enjoy them with dried fruit and traditionally polished fruit, to those who opt for inverted ones with chocolate chips because they wouldn’t eat them otherwise.

With its many variations, the sweet bread or “panettone”, as its original name, it was imported from Italy by Milanese immigrants who brought it to Argentina. It is believed that something similar to today’s sweet bread was already consumed in Europe in the 15th century, although the first written record of this typical Christmas preparation dates from the 18th century.

Either way, it’s a staple on the holiday table, which is why we’ve chosen the recipes from three great chefs who talk about their techniques for preparing it:

Born in General Las Heras, Argentina, Irigoyen's contact with cooking began very early in the family kitchen, encouraged by the aromas of her grandmother's recipes.
Born in General Las Heras, Argentina, Irigoyen’s contact with cooking began very early in the family kitchen, encouraged by the aromas of her grandmother’s recipes.

Ingredients:

for the sponge

– 100 g flour 000

– 40 g of yeast

– 80 ml of milk

– 1 tablespoon of sugar

Treat:

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and let sit for 20 minutes until a sponge forms.

Passionate about her profession, from an early age she began to forge her long career in which she would stand out not only as a cook, culinary teacher and media communicator, but also as a restaurateur and consultant in the development of major food companies (Linda Xiao/The New York Times)
Passionate about her profession, from an early age she began to forge her long career in which she would stand out not only as a cook, culinary teacher and media communicator, but also as a restaurateur and consultant in the development of major food companies (Linda Xiao/The New York Times)

Ingredients:

– 700 g flour 000

– 200 g of butter

– 150 ml of cream

– 5 eggs

– 150 g of sugar

– 1 pinch of salt

– 1 tablespoon malt extract

– 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

– 1 teaspoon of orange blossom water

– Zest of 1 lemon

– Zest of 1 orange

– 50ml cognac

– 200 g walnuts

– 150 g of almonds

– 150 g of grapefruit peel

– 150 g raisins

– 100 g of hazelnuts

– 50g pistachios

Treat:

place the raisins of grape seed seedless to dip with Cognac a few hours in advance. Arrange the flour with the salt in the shape of a crown. Add the sponge cake, eggs, sugar, malt extract, essences, cream, lemon zest and orange zest.

Take the dough and when all the flour is well hydrated, add the butter little by little and knead, integrating it well. Let rise in a bowl covered with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap for about 30 to 40 minutes at room temperature.

Degas and incorporate the coarsely chopped dried fruit and raisins. Let rise again until doubled in size. Divide into two buns and place each bun in a buttered pan. Leave to rise Make a cross-section with a very sharp knife or cutter. Brush with melted butter and bake in the oven at 170°C for 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool and drizzle with royal icing. Decorate with fruit.

De Santis was born in Milan in 1964 and spent his childhood in Puglia, Italy.
De Santis was born in Milan in 1964 and spent his childhood in Puglia, Italy.

Ingredients:

1st kneading

– 10 g of fresh yeast

– 50ml lukewarm water

– 30 g flour 0000

2nd kneading

– 65 g flour 0000

– 60 g of sugar

– 1 egg

– 1 yellow

– 10 g of melted butter

3rd kneading

– 130 g flour 0000

– 50 g of sugar

– 30 g of melted butter

– 1 egg

– 2 yolks

– 4/5 drops of vanilla extract

– 5 g of salt

In 2000, he decided to move to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he taught at the Gato Dumas cooking school and directed the kitchen of the Verace restaurant.
In 2000, he decided to move to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he taught at the Gato Dumas cooking school and directed the kitchen of the Verace restaurant.

4th kneading

– 50 g flour 000

5th kneading

– 150 g of ointment butter

– Sweet bread mold

Treat:

For him first knead, dilute the yeast in the water in a bowl then add the flour until it is well integrated. Cover the container and let stand for 20 minutes. For him second knead, add flour, sugar, egg, yolk and melted butter to the previous mixture. Knead until you get a smooth brioche. Cover the dough and let rise for 60 minutes.

For him third step, add the ingredients one by one and always mixing after each addition. Knead until you get a smooth bun and let the dough rise for 60 minutes. In the quarter knead, add the flour and knead with the machine for about 20 minutes or until the dough comes away from the edges of the bowl.

Finally, stretch the dough with your hands and imaginarily divide it into three. Place a layer of ointment butter in the center of the stretched dough. Fold one of the ends without butter towards the center then the other, as if you were making a puff pastry. Repeat this step until all the butter is incorporated.

Work the dough until everything is incorporated. Put the dough in the buttered and floured mold. Let the dough rise until it doubles in volume. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Bake for 50 minutes. Remove, let cool and unmold. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Alo's is an establishment that opened its doors in 2014 and since then it has become a benchmark for local cuisine thanks to the imprint of its owner and chef, Alejandro Féraud.
Alo’s is an establishment that opened its doors in 2014 and since then it has become a benchmark for local cuisine thanks to the imprint of its owner and chef, Alejandro Féraud.

Ingredients:

for preference

– 280 g flour 000

– 200 g sourdough

– 2 g of fresh brewer’s yeast

– 70 g of filtered water

– 20 g of sugar

– 60 g of egg

For the sweet bread

– 640 g flour 000

– 380 g of egg

– 100 g of egg yolk

– 100 g of sugar

– 5 g fine salt

– 180 g of butter

– 20g almond oil

– 20 g hazelnut oil

– 100 g of dried apricots

– 75 g of almonds

– 80 g of Disaronno

– 10 g of vanilla essence

A lover of fires and a young man eager to learn, Alejandro devoted his days to the culinary arts by experimenting in different cuisines around the world.
A lover of fires and a young man eager to learn, Alejandro devoted his days to the culinary arts by experimenting in different cuisines around the world.

Treat:

To perform the leaven, mix 200 g of wholemeal flour and 100 g of water to form a homogeneous paste and leave to rest for two days, without touching it. On the third day, add 100 g of wholemeal flour and 50 g of water, knead again and leave to rest for a day. This last procedure will be repeated for two more days. On the fifth day, it can be used to make sweet bread dough.

to assemble the preference, IAdd all the ingredients, knead for 10 minutes and let stand for 1 hour. Cut the dried apricots to the desired size. Peel the almonds (bake them in the oven for a few minutes then remove them with a kitchen towel) and dip them in the Disaronno (or any liqueur of your choice) and the vanilla essence.

Generate a dough with flour, sugar, eggs and yolks. Leave to stand for 1 hour covered. Add the preferment to the dough and knead for another 10 minutes. Add salt, ointment butter and oils. Continue kneading until you get a smooth, silky texture.

Add the almonds, apricots, liqueur and vanilla essence. Knead until the fruit is well incorporated. Form a bun and let it rest for 15 minutes at room temperature. Divide into two equal buns, stretch and shape. Arrange on 750 g moulds. Leave to ferment for 24 hours inside the moulds.

cook for 185°C for 35 minutes. Take out of the oven, prick the bottom of the loaves with a skewer toothpick to be able to reverse them during. This prevents the crumb from sticking together. Once hung, paint the surface with clarified butter until cool.

Continue reading:

Classic, original or vegan: where to buy sweet bread and panettone to share this holiday season
Starters, main courses and desserts: 5 easy recipes for a gluten-free Christmas
The best videos on TikTok about Christmas recipes

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