This Italian bread is similar to a fruitcake and traditionally served during the holidays. The Christmas treat is typically baked into a tall, cylindrical shape (empty coffee cans work great as baking pans). While its origins are sketchy, one legend holds that in the late 1400s, a young Milanese nobleman fell in love with the daughter of a baker named Toni and created "Pan de Toni" to impress his love's father.
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
1/3 cup dried tart cherries
1/4 cup triple sec (orange-flavored liqueur) or orange juice
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
6 tablespoons butter or stick margarine, melted
1/4 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 teaspoon butter or stick margarine, melted
2 teaspoons turbinado or granulated sugar
How to Make It
To prepare marinated fruit, combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; let stand 1 hour. Drain fruit in a sieve over a bowl, reserving fruit and 2 teaspoons liqueur separately.
To prepare dough, dissolve yeast and 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar in warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 1/2 cup flour and next 6 ingredients (1/2 cup flour through egg yolk) in a large bowl; beat at medium speed of a mixer 1 minute or until smooth. Add yeast mixture and 1/2 cup flour; beat 1 minute. Stir in marinated fruit, 2 1/2 cups flour, and pine nuts. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands.
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, about 1 1/2 hours. Dough will not double in size. (Press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)
Punch dough down; let rest 5 minutes. Divide in half, shaping each into a ball. Place balls into 2 (13-ounce) coffee cans coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Uncover dough. Place coffee cans on bottom rack in oven, and bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until browned and loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove bread from cans, and cool on a wire rack. Combine reserved 2 teaspoons liqueur and 1 teaspoon butter; brush over loaves. Sprinkle evenly with turbinado sugar.
I loved the texture of this recipe, but the dough took ages to rise and did not rise as much as other recipes I´ve tried. You have to find a way of hanging the baked panettone upside down so it does not deflate while cooling and I added orange rind to give it that tangy after taste that was missing the first time around. Regardless, it´s one of the easiest and best recipes I´ve tried so far, and I actually bake them to sell.