With this Homemade Italian Panettone, you can certainly make your Christmas and New Year’s Eve extra special. It’s dotted with raisins, pecans, and dried cherries, making it a lot richer and more delicious.
2 1/4 c. flour (divided)
2/3 c. water
1 tbsp. instant yeast (divided)
2 tbsp. apricot jam
12 tbsp. softened butter (divided)
2 tbsp. melted butter
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
6 egg yolks
2 tsp. vanilla (good-quality)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 tsp. lemon extract
3/4 tsp. orange extract
2 tbsp. honey
1 c. confectioner’s sugar (sifted)
2 tbsp. milk
pinch of salt
1/2 c. dried cherries (finely chopped)
1/2 c. pecans (finely chopped)
1/2 c. golden raisins (finely chopped)
- Sponge: In a small bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of flour, 2/3 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of apricot jam, and 1 teaspoon of yeast. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for about 3 hours, preferably in a warm place.
- Dough: Add the sponge, 1/4 cup of sugar, 3/4 cup of flour, and 1 teaspoon of yeast in the bowl of a standing mixer. Using the hook attachment, knead the dough for about 3 to 5 minutes or until it becomes smooth and stretchy. Add 3 egg yolks (one at a time) and continue to knead until the mixture gets shiny as well.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and rest in a warm place for about 2 hours. This should be enough time for it to rise and double in size.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, return it to the mixer. Add vanilla, lemon, and orange extracts as well as salt, honey, and 1 teaspoon of yeast, and then knead for a minute.
- Add 3 yolks and knead until incorporated. Add the 12 tablespoons of softened butter but do it 1 tablespoon at a time. Knead for about 5 minutes.
- Combine the chopped pecans, raisins, and cherries with 2 tablespoons of flour, and then add the mixture to the dough. Knead briefly.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl and store it in the fridge overnight.
- Roll the dough out onto a floured surface and shape it into a ball. Put it in a Panettone mold (6 inches in diameter). Using a pair of scissors, create a cross on top of the dough.
- Allow the dough to rise and triple in size. Place it in a warm place.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bake the Panettone for about an hour or until it has risen like a muffin. Let cool.
- Drizzle icing and serve.
Making the icing:
Mix 2 tablespoons of melted butter and 1 cup powdered sugar. Add a pinch of salt, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of milk until desired consistency is achieved.
If you do not have a Panettone mold, you can make use of a coffee can. Just make sure that it is clean and buttered. Line it with parchment paper as well.