A light as air bread with subtle sweetness and flavours, panettone is rather easy to ‘over-enjoy’. We find it hard to resist tearing into the soft, flaky bread flecked with fruit.
A traditional Italian Festive loaf, panettone is not cheap, which is understandable considering the rich content of dried fruit, vanilla, eggs and butter in each loaf. Make time this weekend then to prepare your own loaf using this panettone recipe.
Sweet yeasted dough needs gentle handling and lots of proving time but the weekend approaches, and the work between rises is fairly minimal.
Traditionally, panettone is scored with a cross just before baking. It rises beautifully, billowing upwards and outwards like a flower flecked with sugar or flaked almonds.
One of the problems with home baked panettone is that once baked, it risks collapsing back on itself thanks to the large air bubbles and soft stretchy dough. So we came across a super easy fix – you hang it upside down as it cools. You skewer the cooked panettone with a pair of strong metal skewers and suspend it in a deep vessel, the skewers need to sit over the rim so the loaf remains above the base. This is the answer to keeping a lovely light feel to your loaf. Give it a try.
- 30g white sugar
- 1 tablespoon dry active yeast
- 50ml lukewarm milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or seeds from a vanilla bean.
- 250g of strong white bread flour
- One teaspoon salt
- 3 drops aroma panettone or 2 drops of orange oil and one drop of lemon oil
- 2 medium eggs, beaten
- 75g butter, soft, cut in small cubes.
- 2 tablespoons dried cherries
- 2 tablespoons dried blueberries
- For the topping: 1 egg beaten, 2 tablespoons of nibbed sugar
- In a small bowl, combine the dried fruit with 2 tablespoons of hot water. Allow to soak overnight
- Pour the milk into a medium bowl and sprinkle the yeast into it along with a teaspoon of the sugar, whisk lightly till the yeast has dissolved.
- Combine the flour, sugar, salt, panettone essence (or orange/lemon oil) in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
- Add the two beaten eggs and vanilla paste to the milk/yeast mixture and whisk lightly.
- With the mixer on slow to medium speed, start to pour in the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix until it comes together as a dough, scraping down the sides to make sure the ingredients are all combined.
- Now start incorporating the butter, adding a tablespoon at a time to the dough whilst continuing the mixer on a medium speed and once the butter is all mixed in, increase the speed of the stand mixer and beat the dough until it is shiny and elastic.
- Drain the soaked berries and with a spatula, gently fold them into the dough.
- Transfer the dough to a large clean plastic bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a cold oven (with the door slightly open) for 8 hours or overnight.
- The next morning, generously coat the sides of a panettone tin with melted butter (a raised pie tin will also work).
- Take the dough out from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface, and gently form it into a loose ball. Place this into the panettone tin and cover with a damp kitchen towel.
- Allow a further rise in a warm place for around 3 to 5 hours, until the dough is tripled in size (and reaching the top of the tin).
- Pre-heat your oven (180 Degrees C/160 Degree C Fan oven ).
- Brush the dough with beaten egg and sprinkle with nibbed sugar.
- Wrap a double layer of baking paper around the outside of the cake tin, cutting it to be around 10cm (5") above the sides of the tin so that it supports the rising of the pannetore. Secure with string.
- Bake for about 20 minutes then reduce the temperature to 160 Degree C/140 Degree C Fan oven, and bake for 40-45 minutes more. You may need to cover with foil so that the cake can continue to cook without the top burning.
- The panettone is cooked when a skewer inserted into the panettone comes out just dry.
- Then pass 2 metal skewers 2 cm (1 inch) above base all the way through the pannetone.
- The skewers need to be on each side of the midline, parallel to each other and around 6cm (3") apart.
- Turn the panettone upside down and place it into a bowl or stockpot deep enough that it does not touch the bottom, so that the skewers sit on the rim of the bowl and support the inverted panettone till it is completely cool. This will keep the bread light and airy.