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Festive Panettone

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Festive Panettone (pronounced pahn-EHT-tohn) is served by Italians at Christmas and other fancy occasions.  This is an updated version of this Italian holiday favorite. It is a fruit loaded loaf that is often served with a sweet wine such as a sauterne.  This recipe adds dried cherries to the traditional flavors.

The tall, cylindrical metal mold for panettone measures 7 ½ inches in diameter and 4 inches high. You may substitute an extra deep cake pan. There are also available in Kithchen ware stores ovenproof paper panettone molds that serve as both pan and gift box.

This bread recipe makes 2 medium 1 pound loaves or one large 2 pound loaf. You may place 1/2 the dough in the refridgerator after you punch it down to bake within two days.

Ingredients

1 cup warm not hot milk

2 eggs

1/2 cup of butter cut into small pieces

3 3/4 cups Bread Flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 a teaspoon of salt

4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 teaspoon anise seeds crushed fine

1 tablespoon of ground finely grated lemon peel

1/2 cup of golden raisins

1 cup of dried tart cherries

3/4 cup of pine nuts

Topping

1 egg slightly beaten

1 tablespoon of water

1 tablespoon of pine nuts

In a large bowl combine the milk, eggs, butter, flour, sugar, salt and yeast and mix together. Once mixed knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Add the anise seeds, lemon peel,  raisins, cherries, and pine nuts and knead for two minutes or until all of the fruit is fully blended.

Place the dough in a proofing basket or lightly oiled large bowl and cover with a warm damp cloth and let it rise in a warm place until double in size.

Punch down the bread dough. Remove the bread dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 5 minutes. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes.

Lightly oil your Panettone pans. Cut the bread dough in half if making 2 loaves. Shape each half into a ball and place into the prepared pans.

Cover the dough with a warm damp cloth, and allow it to rise until double in size.  I like to place it on the top of my stove while preheating my oven.

Preheat your oven to 350°

Once the loaves are ready mix together the egg white and water until blended. Use a pastry brush to paint the tops of the loaves with the egg wash mixture. Then sprinkle the tops of each loaf with 1/2 of the pine nuts.

Place the pans in the oven and bake the Panettone for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.  If loaf is getting to dark the last 10 – 15 minutes of baking cover the tops with aluminum foil for the remaining baking time.

Remove Festive Panettone  from the oven and let cool in the pand for 10 minutes. Next transfer the loaves of Panettone from the pan to a cooling rack. Allow the loaves of Panettone to cool until room temperature.

You may sprinkle the tops of the finished Festive Panettone loaves with powdered sugar.

Enjoy!

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