Panettone di Milano -- Sweet Fruit Bread
|1 pkg. ||active dry yeast|
|1/4 cup ||warm water|
|1/2 cup ||flour|
|3/4 cup ||golden raisins|
|3/4 cup ||dark raisins|
|1/4 cup ||sweet wine|
|5 tbsp. ||butter, softened|
|2 ||lg. eggs|
|4 ||egg yolks|
|3/4 cup ||sugar|
|1 tbsp. ||vanilla|
|1/4 cup ||warm water|
|4 to 5 cups ||flour|
|1 ||lg. orange, zest of|
|1 ||lg. lemon, zest of|
|1/2 cup ||chopped citron|
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Start the Panettone by making a “sponge”. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the ½ cup of flour and with your fingers make a very loose dough. Cover, and let rise in a warm place overnight. In a small bowl place the raisins and sweet wine or brandy and also allow to soak overnight.
In a large bowl, beat the butter whole eggs and egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and water together. Drain the raisins, reserving the liquid and pressing the raisins to remove the liquid. Add the liquid to the egg mixture, refrigerate the raisins.
Add the “sponge” to the bowl and mix well with your hands. Add the flour, about 1 cup at a time and mix until a ball of dough is formed. You probably will not need all the flour. Turn the dough onto a floured board and knead for about 15 minutes, or until the dough is smooth. Add flour as needed. Place the dough in a buttered bowl, turning the dough to coat it. Cover and let rise for 6 hours.
Butter and flour a panettone mold or 2, 2 lb. coffee cans. Punch the dough down and turn onto a floured board. Flatten the dough and sprinkle the lemon and orange zest over the dough. Flour the raisins and citron in 1 tablespoon of flour, and sprinkle this over the dough. Fold the dough to cover the fruit and then knead it to distribute the fruit. Knead for at least 15 minutes or until the fruit is well distributed and the dough is smooth. Place the dough into the mold (or coffee cans), cover and let rise for about 35 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut and “X” in the top of each loaf. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove loaves and place a tablespoon of melted butter in the “X”. Return to the oven and bake at 375°F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Let cool for about 1 hour, on a rack, before removing the bread from the mold or coffee cans. It the top starts to become too brown, cover with foil.
This is a traditional holiday treat. At our home and most of our neighbors, Christmas was the holiday for Panettone. In the morning, a slice toasted and spread with butter and marmlade, with a cup of coffee . . . the best!
From my cookbook: The "Old Country" Italian Cookbook, by Donald J.P. La Marca
panettone, panettone di milano