How time flies! Christmas is just around the corner! I can’t believe that we are actually in the end of December and not long from now, we will be in year 2012.
Like any other year, I will be spending Christmas in France. Last year, it snowed in London a few days before Christmas. I remember I had lots of fun playing in the snow. It was just an amazing sensation seeing the white flakes falling from the sky, it still and will remain an amazing sight, well, at least for me who hails from a country that never snows.
I baked Breton biscuits last year. This year, I decided to make something Italian. Panettone. Yes, the sweet bread loaf originally from Milan, that can be seen at the supermarkets and Italian Delicatessens during this time of the year. Panettone is usually prepared and eaten for Christmas and New Year in Italy.
I really love Panettone. It is light and full of fruity flavour. There are many sizes of Panetonne available, but the shape is always round. These days, mini Panettone can easily be spotted too. I absolutely love the packaging of Panettone – it always looks so festive!
I thought I would give it a go to make this yummy bread that I can eat it night and day! It’s not difficult to make at all, but, you need a few hours for proofing. The wait is so well worth it. I have added dried cranberries to give extra taste and texture. I hope you will like this panettone recipe!
I wish all of you a Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays and I will catch up with you guys when I am back from my Christmas break!
1 tbsp dried active baking yeast
90g caster sugar
450g strong white bread flour
1 tbsp rum
50g candied citrus peels, chopped
50g dried cranberries
some melted butter
icing sugar, enough for dusting
1. Combine yeast, water and caster sugar in a bowl. Cover and leave to stand for ten minutes or until foamy.
2. Add the eggs to the flour, mix to combine. Slowly add the liquid mixture until a manageable dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 to 10 minutes, adding a bit of flour if necessary, until the dough is soft and pliable but not sticky.
3. Place dough in a large and lightly floured bowl. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 - 1.5 hours. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the dried fruits with rum.
4. Once the dough has risen, tip onto a floured surface. Knead for a minute or so, then start to knead in the dried fruits until evenly distributed. Form the dough into a smooth ball, then divide into equal size of 10. Place each small dough into a 7cm diameter (6cm height) panettone casing. Cover loosely with cling film. Leave to rise for 2 hours in a warm place until the dough has tripled in size or until the dough rise above the casing. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C.
5. Wrap a double layer of baking paper around the outside of the casing to extend 10cm above the sides of the casing. Secure with string. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180°C and bake for 30-35 minutes more. It’s ready when a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. You may need to cover the top with foil after 20 minutes’ cooking to prevent it browning too much.
6. Brush melted butter when after removing the panettone from the oven. Then, cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar.