Panettone Recipe for a proper Italian Christmas
Christmas, in Italy, means panettone bread: a sweet bread loaded with candied peels and baked in a mold which gives it a distinctive look. The panettone is one of the most typical Italian recipes and if the shop bought version is not enough satisfying then you can try to make at home using what I’ve called a quite simple recipe.
Our grandmas used to bale the panettone after having left him raise for 24/48 hours but today we usually make it using instant yeast and let it rest for less time: the flavor is the same because the most important thing when you bake a panettone are the ingredients and, of course, the flour you use to make it.
If you’re wondering what is a panettone the answer is easy: it’s similar to a brioche but more rich and with a crust that makes you live like in a dream.
Make sure you’ve at least 5 hours to spend in the kitchen to prepare a soft and really Italian panettone which will reward you and your patience for a long long time!
What you need for 1 panettone (1 Kg)
300 grams of flour
3 tablespoons of milk
160 grams of butter
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
100 grams of raisins
60 grams of candied peels
between 8 and 15-16 grams of baking powder
2 egg yolks
A pinch of salt
3 tablespoons of sugar
200 ml of hot water
2 tablespoons rum
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
How to make the panettone
1. Put the sugar, the flour, the baking powder and a pinch of salt in a bowl and in the meantime melt the butter.
2. Add the dried ingredients to the butter together with the milk, the vanilla extract, 2 eggs, 2 egg yolks and the hot water. Stir well with a mixer until the mixture is quite compact and quite sticky but not liquid (if it’s liquid just add more flour). Let the dough stand in a warm enough place for 2 hours.
3. Add the raisins and the candied peels in a bowl with hot water and 2 tablespoons of rum then, after one hour, drain well and remove any excess water. Pass both the raisins and the candied peels in the flour to prevent, when in contact with the dough, that they will deposit on the bottom. Grease and flour a mold with high sides or a specific mold for panettone.
4. Take the dough back, add the raisins and the candied fruits, knead a few minutes with your hands and place it carefully into the mold leveling off the surface. Allow to stand for 2 hours and then, after this time, transfer the mold in an airy place so that the surface will form a crust.
5. After this time, preheat the oven to 220°. With a sharp knife get a X on the surface of your panettone and cook for 15 minutes at 200° then at 190° for 15 minutes. Place a bowl filled with water on the lower base of the oven to increase moisture in the oven and allow the panettone to have a brilliant and crispy surface,
6. Bake for 30 minutes at 180° possibly covering the surface with aluminum if it is too colorful (these temperatures and these timings vary depending on the oven but the general rule is that the panettone should be cooked in a convection oven to prevent it falling to the center).
7. Turn off the oven, open the door and let the cake in for another 10 minutes. Remove the panettone from the oven and allow to cool completely before transferring it on a platter and serve.
Preparation time: about 5 hours in total, even more
General advices to make a perfect panettone Italian style
1. Do not open the oven before you start cooking the panettone at 180° otherwise it will fall to the center;
2. If you don’t have a panettone mold you can use a classical cake tin minding that you’ll get a different type of panettone, definitely not as high as the original;
3. This panettone will dry out in 2 days so it’s better to transfer it as soon as possible (when it’s cold!) into a paper bag to make it last about 7 days;
4. If you want your panettone more buttery just add a tablespoon of butter inside the X on the surface pushing it inside.