Panettone


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Panettone is an Italian type of sweet bread loaf originally from Milan usually prepared and enjoyed for Christmas and New Year in Western, Southern, and Southeastern Europe. Originating in the 1500s, it started off as a “luxury cake” that was only eaten for religious celebrations.

Mass production in the early 1900s gave the bread its familiar domed shape and made it more available and it soon became a staple in Italian households during the holiday season. By the end of World War II, panettone was cheap enough for anyone and soon became the country’s leading Christmas sweet.

Italians who migrated to the US and to the Anthracite Coal Region brought the Christmas tradition with them. Panettone is popular within Italian communities around the world, and can commonly be found in Italian grocery stores in the US, Canada, and the UK.

Traditionally, panettone requires a long rise time – usually overnight or even a full day. This version is much faster for the home cook to create. If you would rather make your own instead of buying panettone from a big pyramid display of square boxes in the middle of your supermarket, and do  not have a full day to dedicate to making it, this recipe is for you. Buon Natale!

Panettone

Recipe by A Coalcracker in the KitchenCourse: Desserts, BreakfastCuisine: Italian, Coal RegionDifficulty: Intermediate

Panettone is an Italian type of sweet bread loaf originally from Milan usually prepared and enjoyed for Christmas and New Year in Western, Southern, and Southeastern Europe.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water

  • 2 packets active dry yeast

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

  • 1/2 cup orange juice

  • 1/2 cup white sugar

  • 2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk, beaten (reserve white for later use)

  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

  • 2 ounces brandy

  • 4 to 5 cups sifted AP flour

  • 1 cup golden raisins

  • 1 cup diced candied fruit

  • 1/2 cup candied cherry halves

  • 2 teaspoons white sugar

  • 2 Tablespoons water

  • 1 egg white (reserved from earlier in the recipe)

  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

Directions

  • In large bowl, sprinkle yeast over lukewarm water. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon sugar over yeast. Cover and let stand 10 minutes.
  • In another bowl, combine butter, orange juise, orange zest, vanilla. almond extract, brandy, 1/2 cup sugar and beaten egg. Beat well, then stir into yeast mixture. Combine well.
  • Begin adding flour, 1 cup at a time. Stir in flour until dough leaves side of bowl. Turn dough onto floured board and knead in flour until dough is smooth and elastic. Dough should be soft, but not sticky.
  • Place dough in a greased bowl, cover and keep in a warm place (80F). Let rise until double in bulk (approximately 90 minutes).
  • Punch down dough, turn on to floured board and flatten with palm of hand. Spread raisins and candied fruit on top and knead in until fruits are well distributed.
  • Place dough in a well-greased 9 inch round souffle baking dish. Cover and let rise in a warm place until dough rises 2 to 3 inches above rim of baking dish.
  • With a sharp knife, make a deep cross cut on top of the dough. Brush with egg white beaten with 2 tablespoons water.
  • Bake in a pre-heated 350F oven for about 30 minutes.
  • Remove bread from oven. Brush top with the egg white mixture and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sugar. Return to oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven; let cool for 5 minutes. Remove from baking dish and cool on rack.

Notes

  • Serve with butter. Very good sliced, toasted, buttered, and served warm. Makes great french toast!
  • This recipe is from “Treasured Italian Recipes” 1989
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