According to legend, panettone, a cake leavened with candied fruit and honey, was born in the court of Ludovico il Moro, Duke of Milan in the 15th century.
Milan is not so far away, what could be more normal than to finally see this delicious tradition spread to our place?
For several years, this typical end-of-year party cake has won the taste of gourmets all over France, thanks, we must admit, to industrial versions.
Perhaps you have already succumbed to the charm of the beautiful metal boxes in which these panettones are sold to the public? If so, we encourage you to keep this box and decorate it with artisanal panettone…
Craftsmanship and technique
Every year, several artisans in the area roll up their sleeves to make this whimsical sweet, which requires years of mastery and great technique.
Judge for yourself: it takes up to three days to make artisanal panettone, if you already have active sourdough (otherwise, count on 8 to 10 days).
And since it is a very moist preparation, it should be hung upside down for 14 hours after it comes out of the oven! It is this moistness, due to the use of sour yeast and honey, that explains its exceptional longevity, which can last up to two or three months under the right conditions.
These craft versions have conquered more and more bakers of the younger generation who are not afraid to face new challenges.
So much so that the French panettone championship was created along with the impetus of gastronomy journalist Francois-Regis Gaudry.
The winner of this competition is our selection, along with a young baker, self-taught and the best worker in France…
An elegant classic in Nice
At the Carabacel bakery, behind the centuries-old mosaic window, we know how to respect tradition.
Marc Payeur guarantees it. For this craftsman who trained with Marcel Ravin in the Bay of Monte Carlo, brioche is now his signature product.
So, inevitably, the challenge that panetto represents can only stimulate it.
“I studied with my Italian colleague in Monte Carlo Bay. When I told him I wanted to try it, he said:That’s why I have to take leave in Italy.”
And that’s what I’ve been using ever since.”
An abundance of local products in his panettone: “I add candied oranges and lemons from Florian, almonds from Provence on the macaron, and honey from Marc Deschamps.”
Lots of butter and egg yolks, of course, raisins she soaks in rum, and a secret ingredient she won’t open even under pressure.
The result is an incredibly soft and moist, stringy crumb cake, where we find a more refined version of the taste of panettone as we know it, covered with aromas of fresh butter…
> Carabacel bakery. 9, rue Pastorelli in Nice. About 500 g of panettone: 19 euros.
In Menton, with candied lemon
The people of Menton were familiar with the well-reputed bakery Le Baiser du mitron, served by Le Mirazur’s three-star chef Mauro Colagreco.
Then the baker sold it and the chef bought it back. At the bakery, he hired a young Japanese baker, Daisuke Fukuda.
Today, he is the one who makes the shop’s panettone.
A real achievement for him: “Before I came here, when I was still living in Japan, I already wanted to make panettone. This was my dream.” For this dream, he went to train in Italy, from where he brought sourdough: “It requires care throughout the year. Even when not in use.“
It produces two types of panettone. Classic, candied orange with raisins. And another, more typical, with candied lemon, with fresh lemon peel. A treasure that was awarded the creative panettone prize at the first French championship last year. “It makes me happy to have this award and it puts pressure on me to keep making good panettone.”
Made from an ancient wheat known to be more digestible for gluten, this amazing panettone effortlessly accomplishes its goal of appealing to even the non-digestible with its classic, lemony tart flavor. I don’t like classic panettone.
It is only available during the holiday period and during the Lemon Festival in Menton. You can order it online and have it delivered all over France. > Mitron Bread. 8, Rue Pieta, in Menton. Classic 500g: €28 / 750g: €42 – Lemon from Menton 500g: €30 / 750g: €44 www.mitronbakery.com
In Vence, with citron
Judging by the line in front of his store, the quality of Denis Petesik’s products is unproven.
If there is any doubt, just look at the awards: the best traditional baguette in the Alpes-Maritimes in 2019 and the best croissant in the department this year.
The reinvented flavors are available in chocolate or lemon panettone with a matching store. “I think citrus fruit is the best. Its crust is thick and delicious.” Denis Petesic learned on his own through difficulty and the pleasure of discovery.
And he doesn’t hide it:It is very technical preparation. Within two or three years, things went badly. We’re addicted to panettone, it’s in command. As a result, he was able to tame the beast.
Her panettone is as soft as can be, with beautiful crumb that falls like cotton candy, a good egg yolk flavor and an intoxicating scent of candied lemon pips, close to lemon, without the acidity or bitterness.
> With Rediscovered Flavors. 38, Avenue Foch in Vence. About 500 g of panettone: 16 euros.
At Le Cannet, panettone with century-old yeast
“Have you tasted it?“Mila Mathy tells one of her customers at the counter of a hot teahouse at the back of the Mimi Factory bakery at the foot of the old Cannet. A well-puffed dome, a crumb of silk and an aroma of butter…
Panetton sits majestically in the corner of the counter. “Taste again, this year has nothing to do with last Christmas“the lady of the earth insists.
Because for the end of this year and future holidays, Jordan Thibault, the head baker, has been specially trained by Luigi Biasetto, an Italian maestro from Padua, several times champion in this field. “He passed on to me the knowledge and the centuries-old dough that we decided to christen Maurizio, it sounded like the name of his Italian grandfather!”
Sourdough, which the team fed on a daily basis with water and flour, because fasting it would have been fatal. For the production of the product, you need to work for 48 hours and rest for one night.
In order to produce these panettones according to the rules of the art, Jordan and Sylvain Mathy work in the laboratory on Sundays when there is no one else.
“This allows us to be calm for the final stage of the process, which is crucial.”notes the owner of the bakery, former chef (two Michelin stars) of Bruno Oger at La Villa Archange.
While candied orange peel, lemon and raisins make up the classic recipe, a festive version (with tangerine, dark chocolate, chocolate paste) will fill the shelves in the coming days.
As of December 10, there are specialty breads to discover (chestnut, Timutt pepper cranberry, 4 spice), cocktail pieces, Christmas sweets (hazelnut orange chocolate) and other pie logs.
With a special animation scheduled for the same day.
> Mimi Factory. 5, Boulevard Sadi-Carnot in Le Cannet. 500 g of panettone: 17 euros
MOF version in Monaco
Don’t be fooled by his pop singer looks and youthful first-timer smile: Thomas Soubrin really is the Best Baker in France.
And he is responsible for the production of products for all SBM enterprises. And, as every year, during the month of December, the company’s establishments will offer panettone to their customers.
A product made in the bowels of Monte Carlo that holds surprises: “We are in the process of reducing sugar. If it tastes good, we want it to do more good for the body.“
It is in this approach that his Christmas cakes are made on all-natural sourdough without the slightest addition of yeast: “A small gram of yeast would provide a rise, but I’d rather risk missing a batch than use it. This is the traditional Italian method.“
This yeast, which must be maintained continuously, was initiated by Thomas Subrin: “We keep yeast all year round and have learned to use it and love it. We add to the dough throughout the year.
In addition to the classic panettone and chocolate version, this year allows a little departure from the traditional with a delicate and fruity version, with candied cherries and pistachios. “Homemade pistachio paste, like juice, but without added sugar and we add chopped pistachios.
The result is amazing: candied cherries cut into large pieces (original, not ersatz, we change the color and put them on the side of the plate) offer a fresh and fragrant taste. roasted notes. Nice surprise.
> Mada One. Princess-Charlene Promenade, near Place du Casino in Monaco. About 550g, 35 euros, regardless of flavor.
There are panettones
People are not only in the Alps-Seas to this transalpine Christmas tradition.
Var bakeries also have talented artisans who grow sourdough and knead heavy buttery and aromatic doughs to make panettone in the traditional way.
The Syndicat des patrons boulangers du Var recommended these addresses to us:
> Saint-Raphaël: Romain Corretel at La Raphaëloise bakery. 1, rue d’Agay.
> Toulon: Gregory Bernard at La Cerise bakery on the cake. 423, avenue Jean-Jaures.
> Montauroux: Christian Bernard at Chez Bernard bakery. Space 2 Shopping Center.
> La Valette-du-Var: Nicolas Honorat at Sainte-Christine bakery. 290, Gabriel-Peri Ave.
> Six-Fours-les-Plages: Eric Migliaccio at the Praline bakery. 145 Cabry Blvd. And Stéphane Mondino at Mondino et Fils bakery. 65 Republic Street.
> La Garde: Xavier Waldack at Les Deux Frères bakery. 4 ways Zac. 455, Avenue Robespierre.