My friend Robin who recently had cancer surgery, loves Italian baked goods. She has been in the hospital since Christmas and is finally out in rehab. So, when I knew I was going to visit her I asked her if there was anything she needed, and she replied: "Panettone would be nice!" How could I refuse such a request? She never got a chance to indulge in the holiday goods when it was in season, And it just so happened that it was next on my list in the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge. This remarkably tender, and fluffy bread originated in Milan, according to my Italian hubby, but we see it here in the stores starting in Oct, so I guess you can say the actual freshness of the product is sometimes in question. If you like store-bought Panettone, then you MUST try this home-aide version, number 24 in the Bread Baker's Apprentice book.
This is a two day bread starting with an active starter. Here you see my starter, "Adam" bubbling away and working his magic.
If you still haven't bough the book-- you can find an adapted recipe here, but it's not quite the same as Peter's recipe.
Next the ingredients. This dough was very similar to the egg- butter breads from the beginning of the book, but with the addition of the liquor and the vanilla extract in the soaking dried fruit, the bread had a wonderful aromatic fragrance.
It took a while to get the dough to get the "window pane" texture, but it finally came together.
I divided the dough in half and decided to use a loaf pan for the one Nic and I would keep and used a real Panettone mold for Robin's bread.
The result was delicious! This tasted WAY better than the dry store bought variety that we're bombarded with every Christmas. Christmas in July is a good reason to bake this festive bread.