Festive flavor: Christmas Panettone Bread.
If you love baked treats for Christmas, then you would love Christmas panettone bread.
Christmas Panettone Bread is a sweet bread – a festive flavor – that originated in Milan, Italy.
It has since spread throughout Southern Europe, and is also regularly consumed in parts of Africa, Australia, and South America as part of the Christmas-New Year’s season.
Panettone usually takes a cupola shape, or a conical cylinder. You might prefer to make simple loaves.
Chocolate or amaretto-flavored panettone is not uncommon. It’s normally served with sweet, hot beverages like cocoa, or sweet wine or liqueurs.
What gives panettone its special appeal, however, lies in the curing of the dough. This can be repeated for hours over the course of a day to result in very light, fluffy textures.
This holiday bread is a special tradition in many families of Italian descent. Even if you’ve never had it before, it’s an experiment well worth trying.
Basic Panettone recipe.
The following recipe will provide about 16 servings:
Prepare a large bowl of 2/3 cup each of raisins (gold, dark, or a mix); diced dried apricots; and pitted, chopped cherries.
Then stir in 1/2 cup triple sec (an orange liqueur) and enough orange juice to cover the fruit.
Cover and let the fruit marinate for at least two hours.
- about 5 teaspoons of dry yeast (usually 2 packages)
- 1/2 cup of turbinado sugar
- 1/2 cup of water warmed to about 100 to 110 degrees fahrenheit
- 8 cups of sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 1/4 cup margarine or butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons of crushed, mixed nuts, such as pine nuts, almonds, or walnuts
Making the dough.
- In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast and a pinch of sugar in the warm water. Let it sit about five minutes. Strain the fruit out of the marinating bowl and add that, along with the nuts. Keep the liquid. Then start stirring the flour into the mix, a little at a time.
- Coat another large bowl with cooking spray and turn the dough out into this. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm spot (around 85 degrees) for 90 minutes.
- Spray baking oil on a large baking sheet and divide the dough into four loaves. Cover and let rise for another hour.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes or until browned.
- Remove and place on a serving tray. Combine what remains of the fruit marinade with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Brush this mix over the bread and sprinkle with sugar.
Experiment with changes to make it more unique and appetizing, and it could become a Christmas tradition for your family.