Panettone is a rich, buttery, sweet Italian bread, full of citrus and vanilla flavours. It’s traditionally eaten at Christmas / New Year, served with coffee or a sweet wine. It takes a while to make, but that is due to the proving times required – but it’s not really one for the novice cook. Another recipe which you could give as a gift, or just have in the tin ready to serve to guests over Christmastime.
4 tablespoons warm milk
40g fresh yeast
100g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla bean paste
Grated zest 1 orange
Grated zest 1 lemon
5 eggs, beaten
550g strong plain flour, plus extra for dusting
Pinch of salt
80g dried cranberries
3 tablespoons rum
100g candied peel
30g whole blanched almonds, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon egg white
1 tablespoon icing sugar
Sugar Nibs / Pearls (optional)
- Place the warm milk in a bowl and add the fresh yeast, along with a teaspoon of sugar. Stir and leave for a few minutes.
- Place the remaining sugar in a large bowl, with the butter and vanilla bean paste. Beat until pale and creamy – you could use an electric whisk at this stage.
- Add the orange and lemon zests, and then gradually whisk in the eggs, along with a little flour to prevent curdling.
- Add the yeast mixture to the butter mixture, folding in gently. Next, add the flour, folding in, to produce a soft dough. Knead the dough in the bowl for 5 minutes, until it comes together – it will be quite sticky at this point.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for a further 10 minutes, until you have a very soft and stretchy dough.
- Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave in a warm place, for up to 2 hours, until it doubles in size. (You can fold a towel on top of the Everhot lid and sit the bowl on this).
- Meanwhile, place the sultanas and cranberries in a small pan, with the rum. Place on the simmer plate for a few minutes, and heat until the fruit has absorbed the rum. Leave to cool, and combine with the mixed peel.
- Grease a 20cm loose bottomed tin and tie baking parchment around the outside of the tin, so that it comes up about 5cms above the top of the tin. Secure with string.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, tip it onto the worktop and, using floured hands, gradually knead in the dried fruit and peel.
- Place the dough in the tin, cover with clingfilm and allow to double in size again.
- Mix together the almonds, caster sugar and egg white and gently brush over the top of the panettone. Srpinkle with sugar nibs, if using.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, until well-risen and golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Leave to cool completely, before dusting with icing sugar and cutting into wedges.