See Also: Breads
From Dorothy McNett's Recipe Book at www.dorothymcnett.com. This recipe is a modern day one, suitable for making in a home kitchen within a couple of hours. A truly traditional Italian panettone could take several days to make due to the work involved with making the yeast sponge properly. This one has the right flavor and shape, but is not as "fluffy and delicate" as one made from tradition.
2 pkg. active dry yeast (about 5 teaspoons total)
3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted best quality butter
4 egg yolks
2 teaspoons real vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
zest of one lemon
3 1/2 - 4 cups all purpose unbleached flour
1/2 - 3/4 cup candied orange peel or other dried/candied fruits
1 tablespoon melted butter for the mold
1/4 cup whole or slivered almonds
1 egg white
coarse granulated brown sugar
If using a bread machine: Place yeast, water, sugar, salt, butter, egg yolks, vanilla, lemon peel and 3 1/2 cups flour into the pan. Set machine for the dough setting. When the dough setting has finished, remove the dough, shape it and place into a baking pan as directed below, beginning with "in meantime...".
If kneading by hand: In large bowl stir the yeast into the water. Add sugar, salt, soft butter, egg yolks, vanilla and lemon peel. Mix thoroughly, then add 2 1/2 cups of the flour and mix until dough is smooth and stretchy. Add 1 cup of the remaining flour and dump out onto a work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, usually about 8-10 minutes, adding more flour if needed and working in the candied fruit towards the end of the kneading process to get it mixed in evenly. ( Put on a great CD and just enjoy the moment while you do all of this kneading! ) Lightly butter the mixing bowl and place the ball of dough in it, swirl it around to coat with the butter and place it with the buttered side up. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
In meantime, generously butter a panettone baking pan or other tall cylinder such as a coffee can, etc. You may have to be creative...the baking pan should be at least 7 inches tall and about 5-6 inches in diameter or so. Punch down the risen dough and shape it into a ball. Drop it into the mold with the smooth side up. Cover and let rise again in that warm draft free place until almost doubled, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, first making sure your oven racks are in the right position to handle the tall bread. It is best to remove all of the racks except the one you are using, and it should be just below the center of the oven. Dice up most of the almonds but keep several for garnish. Lightly whisk the egg white and very gently brush it over the surface. Tuck in the whole or slivered almonds, and then sprinkle gently with the diced ones. Sprinkle with a little sugar. Place bread in oven, bake for about 30 minutes. Then reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for about 30 minutes more, or until it is nicely browned and no longer doughy. Cool for about 15 minutes before removing from mold. It is best not to slice this until it has cooled to a nice warm temperature. Cut lengthwise into wedges.
Recipe created 2007-10-29.
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