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Best Italian Panettone Recipe: Bake a Delicious Christmas Treat at Home

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Discover the joy of baking and try our best Italian panettone with this step-by-step recipe. Indulge in the festive flavors of candied fruits, raisins, and citrus zest perfectly blended in a light and fluffy sweet bread. Elevate your Christmas season with this easy homemade delight!

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup mixed candied fruits (citrus peel, cherries, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Sliced almonds (optional)
  • Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Instructions

1/ In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy.

2/ In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center, and add the yeast mixture.

3/ Beat in the eggs, one at a time, incorporating each before adding the next. Add the vanilla extract, orange zest, and lemon zest. Mix until the dough starts coming together.

4/ Gradually add the softened butter, a little at a time, while continuing to mix until the dough is smooth and elastic. This might take around 10-15 minutes in a stand mixer.

5/ Fold in the candied fruits and raisins, ensuring they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.

6/ Grease a large bowl with butter and place the dough inside. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for 2-3 hours or until it has doubled in size.

7/ After the dough has risen, punch it down gently to release the air. Transfer it to a panettone mold or a tall, cylindrical panettone paper mold (if available). If you don’t have a specific panettone mold, a tall, deep cake pan will also work.

8/ Let the dough rise again for another 2 hours, or until it has risen above the rim of the mold.

9/ Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). If desired, brush the top of the Panettone with some beaten egg and sprinkle sliced almonds on top.

10/ Bake the Panettone in the preheated oven for 45-55 minutes or until it’s golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

11/ Once done, remove the Panettone from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

12/ Dust the top with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Enjoy your best Italian panettone! Adjust the ingredients or add other dried fruits and nuts according to your preferences.

Tips and Tricks To Help you Achieve Success Making Best Italian Panettone at Home

Italian Panettone

Quality Ingredients: Use high-quality ingredients for the best flavor. Fresh eggs, good bread flour, real butter, and high-grade candied fruits can significantly impact the taste of your panettone.

Yeast Activation: Ensure your yeast is active by proofing it in warm water with a pinch of sugar. The yeast should become frothy within 5-10 minutes. If it doesn’t, your yeast might be expired or inactive.

Kneading the Dough: Properly knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic. Use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment for ease and efficiency.

Rising Time: Allow enough time for the dough to rise properly. It should double in size during the initial rise and rise again in the panettone mold before baking.

Panettone Mold: Use a specific panettone mold or a tall, cylindrical pan lined with parchment paper.

Adding Fruits and Nuts: Fold in the candied fruits and raisins gently at the end of kneading to prevent them from breaking down too much. Soak the raisins in warm water or rum beforehand for added moisture and flavor.

Baking Time and Temperature: Bake the panettone at a moderate temperature to ensure even cooking. Check for doneness by inserting a skewer into the center; it should come out clean when the panettone is fully baked.

Cooling and Storing: Once baked, let the panettone cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. This helps retain moisture. Store it in an airtight container or wrapped in foil to keep it fresh for several days.

Experiment with Flavors: Feel free to experiment with different flavors and additions. You can add chocolate chips, nuts, or swap out the candied fruits to suit your preferences.

Practice Patience: Making Panettone takes time and patience.

Nutrition Facts

The nutritional values for homemade Italian Panettone can vary based on ingredients and serving sizes. Here’s an approximate breakdown for a typical slice (about 80 grams) of Panettone:

  • Calories: Approximately 260-300 calories
  • Protein: Around 5-6 grams
  • Fat: About 8-10 grams, primarily from butter and eggs
  • Carbohydrates: Roughly 40-45 grams, mainly from flour and sugar
  • Fiber: Varies, but generally low, around 1-2 grams
  • Sugar: Approximately 15-20 grams, from added sugars and fruits

Please note that these values are estimates and can vary depending on specific recipes and variations in ingredients used. Homemade Panettone can be a delicious treat, but it’s typically high in carbohydrates and sugars due to the inclusion of sugar, candied fruits, and flour. It’s best enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet during special occasions or festive seasons.

FAQs about Italian Panettone

What is Italian panettone?

Italian panettone is a traditional sweet bread originating from Italy, typically enjoyed during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

How is panettone different from other sweet breads or cakes?

Panettone stands out for its unique tall, cylindrical shape and light, airy texture. It’s made using a special dough that requires a longer rising time, resulting in a fluffy and slightly chewy consistency compared to other sweet breads.

Is panettone difficult to make at home?

Making panettone from scratch can be a bit challenging due to its lengthy preparation process, which involves several stages and attention to detail. However, following a good recipe and being patient with the rising times can lead to successful homemade panettone.

What variations can be made to panettone?

While the classic Panettone includes candied fruits and raisins, there are various flavor variations available, such as chocolate chip Panettone, filled with cream or custard, or incorporating different types of nuts or dried fruits to suit personal preferences.

How is panettone typically served?

Panettone is often served in slices, either plain or toasted, alongside coffee, tea, or sweet wine.

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