One time I bought a panettone bread from Costco and I just fell in love with it– it loads with dried fruits and soft and fluffy, super delicious when toasted and served with butter, and it makes really good french toasts as well.
This panettone recipe is from one of William Sonoma cookbooks I borrowed from library long ago. Despite of its long proofing process, I still want to try it because the finished bread from the cookbook really look like those selling at Costco. You must be curious how long it takes… well let me tell you, at least 5 hours! Since my house is always cooler so it always takes longer than suggested in book to proof the dough, and between preparing lunch/dinner and other house chores, it took me pretty much the whole day to bake this bread! So, bake this bread when you have LOTS of time to spare.
During my final proofing process I didn’t let the dough rise high enough in the pan as the time is getting late. I wonder if it’s because of this rather short proofing causing my bread only 3.5 inches tall instead of 5-8 inches. The other thing is that I couldn’t find any candied lemon peel and candied orange peel, so I just added more fresh lemon zest to bring out the citrus scent. Besides raisins, I used dried cherry and cranberries (chopped dates is also a good choice). The bread smells fruity and zesty (from lemon zest). Texture wise it is not as soft and fluffy (at room temperature) as I expect, but the texture improves when warmed in microwave or toasted– much softer and fluffier.
Panettone Recipe (makes 2 round loaves)
for the sponge:
1/4 cup warm water
2/3 cup warm whole milk
4 tsp dry yeast
pinch of sugar
1/2 cup bread flour
3/4 cup unsalted butter– melted
1/2 cup sugar
grated zest of 2 lemons or oranges
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs + 3 large egg yolks
3-4 cups bread flour
1 cup raisins, preferably golden raisins
1 cup diced candied lemon peels and diced candied orange peels combined (or combination of dried cherry, cranberry and dates)
1 beaten eggs for egg wash
- Make the sponge: Combine water and milk in a stand mixer bowl. Sprinkle yeast and sugar and stir to dissolve. Let it stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add flour and beat with whisk attachment until smooth. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Add melted butter, sugar, zest, salt, eggs, egg yolks and 1 cup of flour to the sponge. Switch to paddle attachment and beat for 1 minute. Beat in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the bowl sides.
- Transfer dough on a lightly floured surface, hand knead until dough is smooth and springy about 10 minutes. Add little more flour if the dough sticks during kneading. Greased a deep bowl with extra melted butter. Transfer dough to the bowl and turn once to coat melted butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and proof in a warm place (eg. top of dryer while drying clothes) until doubled in bulk, about 1.5-2 hours.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently for 1 minute. Return dough to the bowl, re-cover and proof again until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, combine raisins and other dried fruits in a bowl to mix well.
- Line 2 round cake pan or springform pans with parchment paper. Brush the paper and the sides with extra melted butter. Carefully lined the sides with foil (double folded) to 5 inches tall. Brush more melted butter if needed to attach the foil to the sides.
- Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat/roll out to a large oval shape. Sprinkle evenly half of the fruit mixture, press into dough to adhere and roll the dough up. Pat/roll out again into oval shape and sprinkle remaining half of fruit mixture, and press into dough to adhere. Roll the dough up again. Knead a few times to smooth out the dough.
- Divide dough into 2 equal portions and shape into 2 round loaves. Place each dough ball in the prepared pan, gently pat the dough to stretch to the sides. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise until the dough reaches the rim of foil collar, about 2 hours.
- Place a baking stone on the center rack and preheat oven to 400°F. Egg wash the top of each loaf.
- Place pans on the hot stone and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°F and bake until the loaves are golden brown, and cake tester inserted into each loaf center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes longer.
- Let breads cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and foil. Transfer to a rack and cool completely. Store in air-tight bag/container.