Panettone is a traditional sweet bread that originates from Milan and is enjoyed in Italy during Christmas and New Year. You can enjoy it alone, perhaps with an espresso, or it also makes a wonderful alternative to plain bread in a bread and butter pudding!

The original method is somewhat laborious so the recipe we have given here is for a cross between a classic panettone and a brioche.

500 g strong white flour
7 g salt
50 g caster sugar
2 x 7 g sachets instant yeast
140 ml warm milk
5 eggs, plus extra for egg wash
250 g unsalted butter, softened
120 g each of dried cherries, sultanas and currants
100 g whole blanched almonds

Preparation method
1. Place the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, milk and the eggs into a mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix slowly for 2 minutes before increasing the speed to medium. Mix for a further 6 to 8 minutes until you have a soft dough.
2. Add the softened butter and mix for another 5 to 8 minutes and then add the dried fruit and almonds. Mix again to ensure all the ingredients are incorporated.
3. Next, tip the dough into a clean bowl, cover with clingfilm and chill overnight until the dough has firmed (it will initially be very soft).
4. You'll need a greased 18 cm panettone tin for this next part. Knock back the chilled dough and shape it into a ball. Pop it into the tin and then leave to prove at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.
5. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and brush the top of the panettone with egg wash (it should've domed over the tin) then bake for about 25 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 150C/300F/Gas 2 and bake for a further 35 minutes.
6. Once baked, remove the panettone from the tin and allow to cool!

Why not spend your next Christmas or New Year in the magic of Italy and experience the traditional holiday foods for yourself. We have many Christmas and New Year packages available for a range of destinations.

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