This is an Italian Christmas bread that I have been making with my kids for at least a decade. And usually we take the time to candy the citrus ourselves. However, time was tight from when they got back from school to when I wanted to bake these. We used commercially candied angelica and citron, but I did have some candied orange and grapefruit rinds that I had done earlier in the Fall. So, half of our candied fruit was homemade and half were not.
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the Bread Bakers home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to Stacy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Dried Fruit Bread Basket
Apricot Braided Breakfast Bread from Sneha's Recipe
Cranberry Raisin Bread from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Fennel and Golden Raisin Bread from Karen's Kitchen Stories
Feta and Mixed Fruit Focaccia from Food Lust People Love
Panettone from Culinary Cam (you're here)
Pineapple Sour Cream Coffee Bread from A Messy Kitchen
Walnut Raisin Wool Roll Bread from Passion Kneaded
While this recipe takes several days to complete, it is worth it. I promise!
Ingredients makes four 5-inch diameter breads
1/2 cup fed sourdough starter
1/2 cup warm water
1 Tablespoon dry active yeast
6 Tablespoons organic granulated sugar
12 large eggs, room temperature
9 cups flour
1 teaspoons pure vanilla paste or extract (if you have Fior di Sicilia extract, even better)
2 cups raisins
3 cups dried and/or candied fruit (I used a mixture of candied citron, angelica, orange, and grapefruit)
16 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
panettone paper molds, you can use whatever size you want, I used 5-inch paper molds (affiliate link)
skewers for hanging the panettone for cooling
Combine the sourdough starter, water, yeast, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Let bloom for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on medium speed until well mixed.
With the mixer on low speed, add 2 cups of the flour and mix for 5 minutes. With the mixer still on low, add the remainder of the flour and mix for 5 more minutes.
Gently incorporate the raisins with a spatula. Then scrape the dough into a large oiled bowl. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight or for at least six hours.
Bring the dough out of the fridge and let come to room temperature for about an hour.
Knead the dried fruits into the dough until nicely incorporated. Then return the dough to an oiled boil. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight or for at least six hours.
Bring the dough out of the fridge and let come to room temperature for about an hour. Turn the dough out onto a clean workspace.
Gently knead the softened butter into the dough. Divide the dough into four even pieces. You can weigh them if you want to be super precise; I was not that precise.
Gently tuck the dough into a ball with a smooth top and place it, seam-side down, into the paper molds. Place the molds onto a baking sheets, then let the dough rise until doubled in size or for at least three hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the oven is at temperature, place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, the bread should be nicely risen and beginning to brown. Cover the breads with a foil and return them to the oven. Bake for an additional 25 minutes.
Now, this is a step that I am always tempted to skip, but I know its function is to make sure the bread stays pillowy and tall. So, I do it. Don't skip it!
Gently run two parallel skewers through the bottom of the panettone. Then invert the breads and suspend them so that they cool upside down.
Once completely cooled, turn them rightside up. Slice into wedges and serve with coffee or hot chocolate.
I usually gift the panettone that we aren't going to eat immediately as they are best eaten the day that they are baked. However, if you have leftovers, they make great French toast or even bread pudding.