Panettone

Panettone

Ingredients

One oz. baker’s yeast
Three oz. flour
Two cups flour
Seven tbs. sugar
One whole egg
Five egg yolks
salt
1/2 cup melted butter
Six tbs. raisins, soaked and squeezed
Two oz. candied orange and lemon peel, diced
1 1/2 tbs. butter

How to make the PANETTONE:

Almost every region in Italy has its own Christmas cake, but this Milanese specialty is the most famous and most difficult to make. Panettone is available both in a high, dome-shaped, or flat version. Natural yeast (that is, leavened dough) is essential to making a real panettone because if the cake is made directly from brewer’s yeast, its flavor is less delicate.

Besides, the process of letting the dough rise must be carried out according to precise instructions so that the result has a soft and airy texture. In any case, rising time depends on many factors: room temperature, the season, the length of the mixing process, etc. The timing given in the recipe for the panettone can therefore only be approximate.

How to make the panettone: 
Mix the yeast with the flour and as much water as necessary for the dough to be elastic. Wrap in a towel and put into a warm draft-free place (an unlit oven, for example) until doubled in size (it should take approx. 30 mins) and the surface is uneven. Make a small fountain with 4 tbs. flour. Crumble the dough cake on top of it, add 1/2 cup warm water and knead until the dough is elastic. Let rise in a warm place for 3 hours.

Punch down the dough, and then knead in another 4 tbs. flour, with as much warm water as necessary. Place the dough in a warm place to rise for 2 hours. Combine the sugar, the whole egg, and the yolks. Mix well and cook in a double boiler for a few minutes, beating the mixture with a whisk to become light and airy. Let cool.

Make another Fontana with the remaining flour. Put in a pinch of salt, the risen dough, the butter, and the egg mixture into the middle. Knead energetically for 20 min. When the dough is smooth and elastic, add the raisins and candied peel. Grease and flour a sheet of waxed paper and place the dough in the center. Make a ring around it with a rectangular piece of cardboard and let rise in a warm place for at least 6 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.

Cut a cross on top of the cake with a sharp knife and put 1 tbs. butter in the middle. Cook the panettone in a pre-heated 400°F oven for 40-45 min. The cake is ready when a skewer inserted in the center comes out dry.

Regional recipe from Lombardy

books-on-italy.com

books-on-italy.com

books-on-italy.com

books-on-italy.com

Enrico Massetti was born in Milan, Italy.
Now he lives in Washington, DC, USA.
Still, he regularly visits his hometown
and enjoys going around all the places in his home country
especially those he can reach by public transportation.

Enrico loves writing guide books on travel in Italy
to help his friends that go to Italy to visit
and enjoy his old home country.
He also publishes books on the Argentine tango dance.

You can reach Enrico at enricomassetti@msn.com.