I have been making this Panettone recipe every Christmas for more than thirty years. Our son, Callum, would not consider it Christmas unless this gorgeous bread appeared on the breakfast table December 25th. Terry’s chocolate orange in his stocking is the other most have. One year when I thought perhaps he had grown too old for this tradition I omitted it. That will NEVER happen again.
If you have a stand mixer this bread is not difficult. You must allow yourself time so start it early in the day. Otherwise you’ll end up baking it at midnight, as did one year. It did fill our home with a lovely fragrance on Christmas eve.
PANETTONE. Make one very large loaf.
Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature
1/2 cup milk warmed
l envelope or 2 1/2 tsp yeast
3 2/3 cups flour
4 oz soft butter
1/2 tsp salt,
1/3 cup sugar
1 generous tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 tsp vanilla
1 tbs rum (optional)
3 whole eggs at room temperature
3 egg yolks at room temperature
1 cup diced candied orange and lime peel
A generous 1/2 cup dark raisins
A generous 1/2 cup of light raisins
Now the fun begins. This is bread that is not kneaded. It’s all done in your mixing bowl of the stand mixer.
l. Heat milk just to warm it. Sprinkle in a little sugar then whisk in the yeast. Let sit for around ten minutes until the yeast starts to foam. Now add 2/3 cup of flour (from the 3 2/3 cups amount). Stir well and cover tightly with plastic wrap and let raise at room temperature until almost tripled. That’s around l hour. The sponge may fall toward the end but don’t worry.
2. About 15 minutes before your sponge is ready place the butter in your mixer with the paddle. Beat until light, add the salt, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla and rum . Continue to beat until fluffy , about five minutes.
The generous amount of vanilla colours the mixture. Don’t worry this is how it should be.
3. In a separate bowl whisk your eggs. Beat 1/3 of the eggs into the butter mixture until smooth. Important, Use your lowest speed from now on because you’ll be assimilating the flour. Beat in about l cup flour until fully incorporated. Scrape bowl and paddle. Repeat with the remaining eggs and flour in two batches beating well after each addition.
4. Now add the sponge and beat until dough is smooth and elastic (around 5 minutes).
5. Finally beat in the candied peel and raisins.
6. Scrape the dough into a buttered bowl (around 3 qt in size) and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let this lovely dough rise at room temperature until doubled in size. About 2 hours.
6. Meanwhile butter and flour a 9″ by 3″ spring-form pan. Fold a very long strip of tin foil in half and butter and flour this. Edge the spring-form pan with this collar of tinfoil to raise the sides of your pan.
7. When your dough has doubled in size scrape it into your pan and cover loosely with a buttered plastic wrap. Le rise about 1 hour or until your dough reaches the top edge of the pan. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 375F.
8. Discard the plastic wrap and bake your magnificent panettone in the middle of the oven for about twenty minutes or until well risen and deeply coloured. Then cover loosely with tinfoil to prevent browning too much, and bake for almost 20-30 minutes longer, or until a thin knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
9. transfer to a rack and cool 5 minutes. Then remove the side of the pan and slide off unto a rack.
Voila! You are finished! And you have just made the most delicious, delicate, fresh loaf of Panettone. Now that was not difficult, was it!
Merry Christmas and Merry Eating.