Panettone is a traditional Italian bread usually served at Christmastime. Like brioche and challah, it gets much of its flavor from butter. It also gets flavor from the candied fruits it contains.
Before beginning, review the steps for bread making.
Combine the flour, milk, and sugar in a bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture and let soften for 3 minutes. Add the egg and mix, then add the salt. Mix for 3 minutes, cover with an upturned bowl or plastic wrap, and let rest for 20 minutes. Add the butter and the orange zest. Knead the dough by hand for about 7 minutes or with a standup mixer fitted with the dough hook on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until all the butter has been absorbed and the dough is smooth and passes the windowpane test. Turn the mixer to high speed if needed to get the dough to slap against the sides of the bowl. Drain the dried fruits and mix them and the orange rind into the dough. Cover the dough with plastic wrap pressed against the surface of the dough. Let rise at room temperature for about 3 hours, or for about 1 hour and then overnight in the refrigerator, or until it increases in volume about 50 percent.
Press down the dough, shape it into a ball, and push in any protruding fruit to prevent it from burning. Place the dough in a paper ring so it will hold its shape. (If you can’t find the traditional paper holders, improvise one with some parchment paper and scotch tape.) Cover the dough with plastic wrap touching the surface and let rise for about 2 hours at room temperature, or until doubled in volume.
© 2009 James Peterson. All rights reserved.