For Easter this year, I made my friends an Italian panettone. Reminds me of my college year abroad in Milan, Italy where eating panettone was the after school snack, as normal as eating Oreos. This is a difficult one to do but if you're patient and you follow the steps below, you can bake a delicious treat for everyone. Bon appetit!
Serves 10-12 l Difficulty: high l Prep time: 40min l Total time: 24hrs
For starter (make the day before)
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
A pinch instant yeast
1/3 cup cool water
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cups lukewarm water
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup slivered dried papaya
2 tablespoons grated orange rind or grated lemon rind (zest)
1. To make the starter: Combine the starter ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl, cover, and allow them to rest overnight (8 to 12 hours).
2. To make the dough: Combine the starter with all the dough ingredients except the fruit and zest, and mix and knead them together — by hand, mixer or bread machine — until you've made a soft, smooth dough.
3. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until it's puffy (though not necessarily doubled in bulk).
4. Gently deflate the dough, and knead in the fruits and zest.
5. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a panettone pan or other straight-sided, tall 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan (I used this panettone pan). Cover the pan and let the dough rise until it's just crested over the rim of the pan, about 1 hour.
6. Bake the bread in a preheated 400°F oven for 10 minutes; reduce the oven heat to 375°F and bake an additional 10 minutes; then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for 25 minutes, tenting with aluminum foil if the crust appears to be browning too quickly.
7. Remove the panettone from the oven and cool completely. Store at room temperature, well-wrapped, for up to a week; freeze for longer storage.