20180110 Mr. Philippe Bigot’s easy panettone and m…

To Mariana, my guiding angel ???

Thank you for the enlightenment!



I have successfully made Mr. Bigot’s panettone using a simple method based on Mariana’s advice.***  Mr. Bigot is a French master baker who apprenticed under Professor Calvel over half a century ago. He uses unique flour combination and procedures in his panettone formula. I am intrigued to find out how good this bread is.

Mr. Bigot uses two Japanese flours, with protein contents of 10.7% and 11.5% respectively, in a 3:1 ratio to make his panettone.  He mixes the dough by hand and the final product looks like this:


 Photo credit: Chinatimes

Spectacular, isn’t it?! I followed Mr. Bigot’s formula exactly but used my own procedures, which were created largely based on the information Mariana had shared.

Let’s start.

Levain naturel


I converted my existing starter to 50% hydration and built it with most of Mr. Bigot’s levain procedures below:

Day 1:

100g – (10.7% protein) flour; I used King Arthur all purpose flour (11.7% protein)

50g -yeast water

malt syrup optional

mix well

DT 75.2F at  RT 75.2F x 6hrs

shrink-wrapped, tied (which I didn’t do), into fridge x 24hrs

Day 2

100g – (10.7% protein) flour; again I used KA AP flour

50g – water

0.4g – malt syrup

50g – starter from previous day

mix well

DT 75.2F at RT 75.2F x 6hrs

shrink-wrapped, tied (again, I didn’t do it), into fridge x 12-24hrs

repeat Day 2 procedures for 5 days to one week

starter matures when it can triple within 5-6 hours

My starter never tripled.  I decided it was active enough when it had doubled within 5-6 hours for two consecutive days. So I stopped building after the 4th day.


My starter looked like this when it was ready.

Mr. Bigot’s instructions to refresh (1kg of starter)

Starter : AP : H2O = 1 : 2 : 1

0.8% malt syrup

mix well

DT 75.2F at RT 86F x 5-6 hours, should triple

divide into 2kg each

wrapped, tied loosely allowing 2-finger space


The following formula yields two 5.25″ panettones, each weighs approximately 550-600g.




all purpose flour 175g – 41.18%

bread flour 75g – 17.65%

levain 75g – 17.65%

sugar 75g – 17.65%

water 125g – 29.41%

butter 75g – 17.65%

It’s impossible for me to mix by hand. So I used my Zojirushi bread machine to incorporate the ingredients.  I controlled the amount of ingredients being mixed so that a paste could be formed. I held on to the water and only added what’s needed to form a paste.  Once a paste was formed, I incorporated the remaining water using the “double hydration” method. The dough was mixed until it had reached intermediate gluten development.***

I constantly checked the dough temperature to ensure it was below 75F .  If the dough needed more mixing but it was getting warm, I cooled it in the fridge then resumed mixing.

I let the dough ferment at 81-84F for approximately12 hours. It doubled. I chilled the dough for about an hour before proceeding to the next stage of mixing.

Main Dough


all purpose flour 87g – 20.59%

bread flour 37g – 8.82%

egg yolk 187g – 44.12%

butter 37g – 8.82%

sugar 50g – 11.76%

salt 2g – 0.59%

Chilled the preferment first.  Used the same strategies when mixing: aim to form a paste, hold back liquid (yolk), maintain DT below 75F, chill if needed, then resume mixing, incorporate remaining yolk using double hydration method.

Once the dough was close to be fully developed,*** mixed with ingredients in B. below.


diced orange peels 25g – 5.88%

diced lemon peels 25g – 5.88%

raisin 75g – 17.65%

rum-soaked mixed candied fruits 75g – 17.65%

rum 5g to soak mixed candied fruits for a week (I only soaked them in the day before baking)

Gluten fully developed.

Usually I would stop messing with the dough but not this time…


Bulk Fermentation


Instead, I stretch-n-folded the dough every 30 minutes for about three hours when the dough was left to ferment at approximately 82-86F.

When the folds could no longer hold together and slip apart after the S&F,  divide it in half.

Stretch-n-folded each dough one more time. At this point the dough was strong and puffy and could be easily transferred to the molds. Bulk fermentation was complete.

Final Proof


At approximately 82-86F for about 6 hours.

Preheat oven to 356F, then turned it off.

Applied egg wash to dough.  Leave dough in oven for 5 minutes.

Took dough out. Preheat oven to 320F.

Cut the dough with scissors as shown.

 Peeled the ‘crust’.

 Baked at 320F x 50 minutes.

 Used inner pots of rice and vacuum cookers to hang.

Light as feather! ???even though much less fat (only 26%) is used than most panettone formulae.  The flour combination must have done the trick! No strong flours in the formula!

Great success with another master baker’s panettone formula* using the same procedures!

***In discussions with Mariana here.

*In David Kelly’s blog post here.

The End


Something special for my friends:







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Post Author: MNS Master