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Watch The Standard Baking Co. Prepare Panettone, a Holiday Standard

Welcome to a holiday edition of The Hot Dish, a behind the scenes look at the making of drool-worthy dishes.

Nestled at the back of a parking lot on Commercial Street, in the same building as Fore Street (whose Dana Street is part-owner of Standard), The Standard Baking Co. has been a Portland staple for twenty years. Founders Matt James and wife Alison Pray who was a semifinalist this year for a James Beard Award — wholesale breads and pastries made in-house with organic, locally-sourced ingredients. They've also developed a strong retail presence for the Portland community; the bakery usually has a line when its doors open at 7 a.m.

Production manager Tim Gosnell gave Eater a sneak peek at the painstaking creation of a holiday classic, Panettone, available starting this weekend. Olan Boardman, head of marketing and media for Standard, describes Panettone as a "traditional Italian Christmas bread originating from Milan. It is a delicate, domed, cake-like enriched bread. Our Panettone requires a two day process to develop its complex flavor and long lasting moistness. The citrus scented dough is studded with raisins and candied orange zest."

The multi-day process begins with a sourdough starter and involves three rounds of adding, mixing, and resting. Once all the ingredients are incorporated, the loaves are shaped, skewered (for hanging), and proofed. Then, after the final rest in the proofer and a hot trip to Standard's 12-ton stone deck oven, the bread is hung upside down from the skewers to cool. Witness its creation in the photos above and check the company's website for its schedule of rotating goods.

The Standard Baking Co.

75 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101 (207) 773-2112