Panettone – The easiest recipe for Italian sweet Christmas bread
You can do without everything, but panettone is a must-have on holiday tables in Italy for Christmas. It is a sweet bread made of leavened dough with dried fruits, citrus fruits, and nuts, which is traditionally made for Christmas and New Year.
The bread originally originates from Milan and is characterized by a light and airy texture, but a rich taste. Panettone is also popular in Croatia, and with a little will and effort, it can be prepared in your own home.
1. The evening before preparation, chop the dried fruit and candied citrus into smaller pieces, place in a bowl and pour over the alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage as desired. Stir well, cover with a cloth and allow the flavors to blend at room temperature overnight.
2. For the bread: heat 150 ml of milk and let it reach a lukewarm temperature. Then add sugar and dry yeast, mix well and let the yeast activate for about 5 minutes.
3. Put the flour and prepared yeast in the mixer and mix with the dough attachment to combine the ingredients.
4. Add five eggs and continue to mix until you get a uniform but sticky dough.
5. Gradually add 250 grams of softened but cold butter chopped into smaller cubes to the dough. Mix until you get a smooth and shiny mixture.
6. Transfer the mixture to a greased pan, cover tightly with foil, and place in the refrigerator overnight. The slow rising of the dough guarantees a lighter and more airy texture, experts say.
7. Second day: on a floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle. Drain the fruit filling from the liquid in which it was marinated and place half of it on the stretched dough. Fold the dough and roll it out into a rectangle again. Repeat the process with the rest of the fruit.
8. Form a humpbacked dough with candied and dried fruit into a ball.
9. Grease a round tall panettone baking tin, line it with paper and place the dough in it. Press the almonds on top of the dough, roll cloth over everything and place the bread to rise for 2 to 3 hours in a warm place.
10. Coat the leavened dough with a mixture of the remaining milk (30 ml) and one egg.
11. Place the oven in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 150 degrees Celsius and bake for another 40 minutes. Use a skewer stick to make sure the dough is completely cooked.
12. Cool the sweet bread completely before serving. Enjoy!
Ingredients for fruit filling:
300 grams of mixed dried fruit as desired (raisins, apricots, plums, cranberries)
100 grams of candied lemon or orange zest
6 tablespoons rum (or favorite fruit juice)
Ingredients for bread:
6 large eggs
480 grams of sharp flour
250 grams of butter
180 ml of milk
50 grams of sugar
30 grams of almonds
1 and ½ tablespoon of dry yeast