Panettone (Italian Christmas Bread) – Hard to Make, Or At Least That’s What We’re Telling People

I’ve never tried to make panettone before, mostly because of
how notoriously difficult it is to make, or so I was told. Turns out that
wasn’t the case, unless people are factoring in the time, as this does take
three days to complete, but other than that, I thought it was a pretty
straightforward bread recipe.

I think bakers like us regular folks to believe everything
is super hard to make, so as to elevate their standing in society; or, maybe
this is difficult, and I just got lucky, but regardless, I was thrilled with
how this came out.

I may add a bit more vanilla next time, and possibly a few
extra tablespoons of sugar, as it wasn’t quite as sweet as I imagined, but
other than using all the fruit, I don’t think I’d change much else. Speaking of
the dried fruit, there are so many other things you can include, such as nuts,
and chocolate chips, just in case this seems too healthy.

It might be a little late to start this, and finish by
Christmas, but I would try it anyway. If you do, just don’t let your guests
know how easy it was to make, unless they’re professional bakers, then do. I really
hope you give this special occasion bread a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for one 7-inch Panettone:

The night before…

For the panettone starter:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cold water

NOTE: If you don’t have sourdough starter, mix 3/4 cup flour
with about 1/3 cup cold water, or enough to simulate the thickness of the one
seen in the video, and add a pinch (1/16 teaspoon) of yeast. Mix, cover and
leave overnight, just like the one in the video.

For the dried fruit:

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup dried cherries, quartered

1/2 cup diced dried pineapple

1/4 cup rum for soaking fruit

For the dough:

1/4 cup warm water

1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) dry active yeast

2 large eggs

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest

1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest

all the starter from above

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

6 tablespoons softened butter

For egg wash:

1 large egg

1 tablespoon water

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