The holiday season may be coming to an end with New Year’s Eve around the corner, but that doesn’t mean baking season is over just yet. If you’ve never had homemade panettone before, loosen those belts and make room for the ultimate holiday dessert. Traditionally eaten during Christmas and New Year’s Eve, panettone is a traditional Italian bread that’s full of delicious goodies like fruits and nuts. Although it does take a little extra time and patience in the kitchen, the end results are well worth it when you’re digging into a freshly baked slice. The soft brioche-like dough is gently sweet, airy and buttery. The liqueur-soaked dried fruits are candy-like and tangy. What more could you ask for in this fantastically festive holiday bread?
When it comes to baking for the holidays, dried fruits and nuts are some of the most important essentials. And we’re not just talking about fruitcake here. These pantry staples can transform any ordinary baked goodie into an extraordinary one, such as Cherry Hazelnut Cookies and Chocolate Apricot and Coconut Cookies. We’ve got dried blueberries, dried lemon peel, dried strawberries and much more in our dried fruit selection. If you’re looking for holiday nut favorites like chestnuts or hazelnuts, we offer them on our website as well.
- 1/2 teaspoon of active dry yeast
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split in half
- 3 and 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 cup of warm water, about 100 degrees
- 1/4 cup of triple sec or orange juice
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 10 and 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, chilled
- 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, melted
- 2/3 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/3 cup of dried apricots, chopped
- 1/3 cup of dried cherries
- 1/3 cup of raisins
- Panettone Molds (6 x 4 and 1/2 inch)
1. Begin by soaking the dried apricots, dried cherries and raisins in the triple sec or orange juice in a large bowl at room temperature for 3-5 hours.
2. Mix together the flour, yeast, sugar and vanilla bean in a stand mixer on low speed until the mixture is combined.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the warm water, honey, eggs and egg yolk.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the stand mixer on low speed. Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing until all the ingredients are well combined. Add the 10 and 1/2 tablespoons of softened butter 1 tablespoon at a time.
5. After you’ve added the softened butter, increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating for around 8 minutes or until the dough becomes elastic.
6. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place the dough inside and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours.
7. After the dried fruit has soaked in the triple sec or orange juice, drain them through a sieve and place into another bowl. Add the 1 tablespoon of melted butter.
8. Lightly flour a surface and place the dough on top. Add the vanilla bean and dried fruit mixture. Add a little bit more flour to the dough and form a ball. Carefully place the dough into the panettone mold.
9. Cover the panettone mold with a damp kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise for another 1 hour.
10. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Then uncover the dough and place the panettone mold onto a baking sheet. Score an “X” across the surface of the dough. Add your 1 tablespoon of chilled butter into the middle.
11. Bake the panettone for 30 minutes or until the bread has browned. Allow for it to cool completely before cutting and serving.
Have you ever had panettone before? What are your favorite recipes to make for the New Year?