Sunday, December 18, 2011

Heirloom Week: Panettone

Thanks to Mangio Bene Pasta for this beloved old Italian recipe! 

Panettone  (Makes 1 large bread)
1 (1/4 ounce) package dry  yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 - 115 degrees F)
1/2 cup flour

2/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup
grappa or brandy
5 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 eggs
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup warm water  (110 - 115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon vanilla
4-1/2 to 5 cups flour
Grated zest of 1 orange
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup chopped candied citron

To make the starter dough, or sponge, dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup warm water in a bowl.
Add 1/2 cup flour and stir to make a very loose dough.
Cover the bowl with a towel of plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for at least 6 hours or overnight.
In another bowl, combine the raisins and grappa, and let them soak for at least 6 hours or overnight.

In a large bowl, combine the butter, eggs, yolks, sugar, 1/4 cup warm water, and vanilla.
Drain the soaked raisins in a strainer set over a bowl; press with a spoon and set aside.
Add the liquid to the egg mixture.Add the starter dough and mix well.
Gradually add the flour, mixing with your hands until a soft dough forms.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Add more flour as needed.
Butter a large bowl, place the dough in it and turn once to coat both sides with the butter.
Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise for 6 hours in a warm place.

Butter and flour a panettone mold or other deep mold that is about 6 inches tall and 8 inches wide.
Punch down the dough and transfer it onto a lightly floured surface. Flatten the dough into a large rectangle.
Evenly distribute the orange and lemon zest, raisins, and citron over the dough.
Fold the dough in half to enclose the fruit and knead to distribute the fruit throughout the dough.
Place the dough in the prepared mold, cover with a towel, and let rise for 45 minutes in a warm place.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut an X in the top of the dough with a sharp knife.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F.
Continue to bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Place the bread on a rack to cool for 30 minutes before removing it from the mold.
Be sure that the bread has cooled completely before wrapping it for storage.

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