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Panettone (Italian Christmas Bread)

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
Yield 2 loaves (8 servings per loaf) (serving size: 1 slice)
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.

Ingredients

  • Marinated fruit:
  • 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
  • Dough:
  • 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
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon butter or stick margarine, melted
  • 2 teaspoons turbinado or granulated sugar

Nutrition Information

  • calories 211
  • caloriesfromfat 28 %
  • fat 6.6 g
  • satfat 1.3 g
  • monofat 2.7 g
  • polyfat 2.1 g
  • protein 4.5 g
  • carbohydrate 33.8 g
  • fiber 1.4 g
  • cholesterol 27 mg
  • iron 1.9 mg
  • sodium 137 mg
  • calcium 19 mg

How to Make It

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.)

  4. 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.

  5. Preheat oven to 375°.

  6. 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.