A new holiday tradition evolved, in 2007, when I decided to create my own version of panettone. Kelso Panettone has become a favorite of family and friends, and I'll be making this moist, flavorful bread tomorrow morning!
This recipes uses apricots, dates, currants, white raisins, and lemon zest soaked in orange juice, with a splash of Cointreau. The Fiori Di Sicilia is available from King Arthur, and I've included the link below.
Typically a tall, cylindrical, fruit-filled sweet bread, this version was just shaped into rounds and baked on parchment paper. This bread is amazing with butter and even better toasted. Kelso Panettone also makes excellent bread pudding, by the way!
12 oz. dried apricots, chopped
8 oz. golden raisins
8 oz. currants
8 oz. dates, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon Fiori Di Sicilia
Splash of Cointreau (optional)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup warm water
4 packets yeast
1 tsp. plus 1 cup plus sugar, divided
3 cups bread flour, divided
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, melted
2 tsp. salt
4 eggs plus 6 egg yolks, lightly beaten
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
In a shallow dish soak the dates, raisins, currents, and apricots in the zest, juice, flavorings, and liqueur, covering the dish but stirring through occasionally, at least one hour or overnight. Toast the nuts in a frying pan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until they begin to color and become fragrant, about 5-7 minutes. Pour them out of the pan and set aside to cool.
Heat the milk in a saucepan or microwave--just until it is warm (100 to 115 degrees). Pour the warm milk and the 1/2 cup of warm water into a large bowl. Sprinkle on the yeast, then stir in the 1 tsp. of sugar. Wait about 5 minutes, until the yeast is foaming actively, then add 1 cup of the bread flour, stirring until smooth. Cover loosely and let stand 30 minutes.
Stir in the melted butter, the 1 cup of sugar, salt, eggs and egg yolks, orange zest and the remaining 2 cups of bread flour. Stir well. Add the all-purpose flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition, until dough gathers and begins to pull away from the bowl.
Knead a few minutes on a floured board or in the bowl, adding flour if needed, until dough is soft, smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball. Wash and oil the bowl, turn the dough in the bowl to oil all over, cover loosely and set in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
Knead the dough on a lightly floured board for a minute or so, then return it to the bowl for a second rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Drain the fruit, reserving the liquid. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board, pat it into a large rectangle and sprinkle with half the fruit and half the nuts. Starting from a short side, roll the dough up and tuck the ends under. Pat the roll into a large rectangle again (flour the board again if necessary), sprinkle with the remaining fruit and nuts and roll up again. Knead a few times, turning exposed seams inside the ball of dough, and divide in two. Shape each half into a round-topped loaf a little smaller across than the prepared pans, pulling the top surface of each tight.
Put each ball into a prepared pan--make sure it's all the way to the bottom (if using a cylindrical baking pan) and let rise about 1-1/2 hours. Lower an oven shelf to make room for the tall loaves and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Cut an X in the tops if you like, and then bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake about 25 minutes more (longer if loaf is wider), until the tops are golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Note: You may want to cover the bread with foil during the final 20 minutes of baking, if the bread is browning too quickly for you. Cool the loaves 5 minutes in the pans, then remove and set upright on racks.
Makes 4 cylindrical, dome-topped loaves.
For Christmas gifts, I also use the King Arthur panettone papers available on-line at http://www.kingarthurflour.com
Source: Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection: Bread