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Before you do anything else, let the eggs and butter come to room temperature. And soften the raisins and citron in a small quantity of warm water.
Rinse a large bowl with hot water to warm it, drain well. In the warmed bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the 250ml of 45°C water. Leave it for 5 minutes to dissolve, then vigorously stir in 1 cup of the flour. 100 beats with a wooden spoon gets rid of a lot of agression! Cover the bowl with a large plastic bag, and leave it in the warm to double in bulk.
Soften the butter and warm the eggs.
In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until well combined. Beat in the eggs, the zests and essences. Stir in the raisins and citron.
Add a cup of the flour to the butter, sugar, egg and fruit mixture, and beat well. Another 100 beats?
Pour this batter into the yeast mixture, and mix well. When fully combined, gradualy add the rest of the flour. Beat well, if you can. Make sure the mixture is uniform, as it is too soft and sticky to knead like plain bread. Butter the bowl, turn the dough to coat it all over, and leave it to rise until doubled in size again. This will take at least a couple of hours.
Knock back the dough and divide it into two equal portions. With oily hands, round the two pieces into balls.
Butter well two 125mm diameter by 140mm tall, 5x5½inches, baking tins. Line them with baking paper on the sides and bottom, too. Our tins are empty malted-milk cans with the bottoms removed and used upside down. The original lids make excelent removable bottoms!
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180°C 350°F.
Drop a ball of dough into each tin, cover with a plastic bag again, and allow it to rise until it comes to the top of the cans.
Brush the tops of the loaves with melted butter and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until brown and the loaves sound hollow when tapped. Allow to cool on wire racks.
Christmas or New Years Morning, a slice or two of panettone with fresh ground coffee.
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