Easy Homemade Italian Christmas Bread Panettone

This Recipe does require some planning, but if you follow my instructions, you’ll end up with a sweet, puffy and festive holiday bread.

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– 4 eggs — 1 egg is for the egg wash – 1/2 cup sugar – 1 tbsp dry yeast – 1/2 cup milk — 115 F temperature – 6 tbsp melted butter – zest from 1 orange – zest from 1 lemon – 1 tsp lemon juice – 1 tsp vanilla extract – 1 tsp salt – 3 1/2 cups flour — may need more or slightly less for a soft dough – 2/3 cup golden raisins – 1/3 cup chopped candied orange peel – 2 tsp orange flavored liqueur

Step 1

Pour milk in a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it. Stir and cover. Let it sit for 7-8 minutes. Pour hot water over the raisins. Let them soak for 15 minutes. Train.

Step 2

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 3 eggs, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, orange liqueur, lemon zest and orange zest. Add the milk yeast mixture.

Step 3

Switch to the hook attachment and add the flour and salt. Mix for 4- 5 minutes, then add the melted butter and mix until combined. Add the raisins and candied orange peel. Mix to combine.

Step 4

Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Set aside. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and shape into a ball. Place in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm place for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, until it doubles its size.

Step 5

Spray a 7-8 onch panettone mold with cooking spray.

Step 6

After the dough has risen, dump it onto a floured surface and shape into a ball. Transfer to the mold. Cut a cross on top and brush with some melted butter or just spray with the cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for one more hour, until it doubles (almost triples) its size.

Step 7

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place the panettone mold on a baking sheet. Brush with egg wash (egg + 1 tbsp water) and bake for 40 -45 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean and the top is golden brown. In the process of baking, if the panettone starts to brown too quickly, you can cover it with foil, to prevent burning.

Step 8

Transfer to a wire rack and let it cool completely. Store tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.

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