For the sponge, heat the milk to lukewarm, whisk in the yeast, and stir the yeast mixture into the flour. Cover and allow to ferment at room temperature for about 45 minutes, until almost tripled in volume.
For the dough, beat the butter with the salt and sugar until light, either by hand, with a hand mixer set at medium speed, or in a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle. Add the vanilla and beat smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, alternately with the flour, ending with the flour. Beat in the sponge and then beat the dough until smooth.
Mix in the raisins until just incorporated. Place the dough in a buttered bowl and allow to ferment until double, about 2 hours.
Deflate the dough by folding it over on itself several times and then form into a ball. Place in a buttered
While the dough is proofing, prepare the icing. Pulse the almonds and sugar in a food processor fitted with the metal blade until finely ground. Place in a bowl and stir in the cornstarch and egg white.
When the panettone is risen, carefully spread the icing on top, strew with the sliced almonds, and dust generously with the confectioners’ sugar.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 50 minutes. Release the sides of the springform pan and slide the panettone off the pan bottom to a rack to cool. Do not invert to unmold or the topping will fall off.
Wrap the cooled panettone in plastic and store at room temperature up to 3 days. If you refrigerate the panettone, the icing will become sticky.
Confectioners’ sugar for finishing
© 1990 Nick Malgieri. All rights reserved.