Originally called Pan de Ton or the "bread of luxury", panettone is a sweet, cake-like bread traditionally eaten during the Christmas and New Year holiday period in Italy. Aromatic with citrus and enriched with butter, it's always hard to stop at one piece!
- 500 g (3⅓ cups) bread flour
- 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
- 1 sachet (7g) dried yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 185 ml (¾ cup) lukewarm milk
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp natural vanilla essence or extract
- 160 g unsalted butter, softened
- 170 g (1 cup) seedless raisins
- 80 g (½ cup) candied citrus rind
- melted butter, to grease
- icing sugar, to dust
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time 2 hours
Proving time 3-3½ hours
Combine the flour, sugar, yeast, salt and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, milk, honey and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture and beat with the paddle attachment on low speed until combined.
Increase speed to medium-low and gradually add the butter, a spoonful at a time, mixing well after each addition. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for about 8 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add the raisins and candied citrus rind and use your hands to mix through.
Brush a large bowl with melted butter to grease, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat in the butter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then a tea towel and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 2-2½ hours or until tripled in size.
Meanwhile, brush a 21 cm (base measurement) springform pan with butter to grease. Cut a 25 cm round of brown paper and line the base of the tin, folding to fit and ensuring it reach up the sides of the tin.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and briefly knead and fold in the edges to form a loose ball. Place, seam-side down, into the prepared tin. Place the tin on a baking tray and cover with a damp tea towel and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for another 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Use a very sharp knife to cut a 1 cm-deep cross across the whole surface of the panetonne. Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes, covering the top with foil in the last 10 minutes if browning too much, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and the panettone sounds hollow when tapped on the base.
Cool the panettone in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely (this will take about 2 hours). Serve dusted generously with icing sugar and cut into slices or wedges.
• This panettone will keep wrapped well in plastic wrap in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. It is best served toasted after 2 days or used to make bread and butter pudding.
Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. Read our interview with her or for hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O'Brien. Food preparation by Tina McLeish.
For more recipes, view our online column, Bakeproof: Traditional Christmas baking.