how to make an Italian Christmas cake: PANETTONE
Panettone is a Christmas cake which originated in Milan but is now widely served all over Italy. The ingredients used to make it are simple and inexpensive but the preparation and baking can be quite tricky and time consuming.
The original cake is flavored with raisins and candied oranges and citron but there are variations were other fruits are used (like glazed cherries) or fruit is replaced with chocolate chips.
Although I buy a Panettone or two every Christmas time I also like to make one myself with the help of my children.
The ingredients to make a 1.5 Kg traditional Panettone
FLOUR 500 G - HALF 00, HALF MANITOBA FLOUR
YEAST 12 G
MILK 60 ML
4 LARGE EGGS + 3 YOLKS
SUGAR 160 G + 1 teaspoon
SALT 5 G
GRATED PEEL OF ONE LEMON
CUBED CANDIED ORANGE 40 G
CUBED CANDIED CITRON 40 G
RAISIN 120 G
VANILLA 1 POD
BUTTER 160 G
Find some ingredients on Amazon
Make Your Own Panettone
Preparation step by step
First thing to do is to put the raisins in a cup of water to soften (or rum if you prefer)
A good Panettone is prepared in 3 steps.
To make things a little easier I will list the ingredients for every step:
flour 100 gr
yeast 10 gr
1 teaspoon sugar
milk 60 ml
Put the yeast and the sugar in warm milk and dissolve
Add the flour and mix. Cover with cling film and leave at about 30 C for about 1 hour. The mixture should double in size.
flour 180 g
yeast 2 g
soften butter 60 g
sugar 60 g
Add to the mixture the eggs, yeast and flour. Mix well with your hands.
Add the sugar and butter. This mixture should be quite sticky. Cover and leave to rise for 2 hours. The mixture should double in size.
flour 220 g
sugar 100 g
2 eggs and 3 yolks
salt 5 g
soften butter (not melted)100 g
candied orange 40 g
candied citron 40 g
the drained raisin 120 g
1 vanilla pod
Add the eggs and yolks to the mixture then add the flour.
Work the dough for about 10 minutes so that its consistency is quite elastic.
Add sugar and salt.
Work the dough until the sugar has been absorbed well. Add half the butter, work the dough and then add the other half.
Finally add the candied fruit, lemon peel, the raisin and vanilla.
Leave the dough to rise for another 2 hours.
When the dough has doubled its size put in a greased oven tin, 18 cm in diameter and 10 cm tall.
Leave it to rise in the oven tin for another couple of hours.
With a knife cut a cross on top of the surface, and put a small cube of butter in the middle of the cross.
Preheat the oven at 200 C. Place a cup of water on an oven tray at the bottom of the oven. Put the cake mixture in the tray above the water and cook at 200 C for 10 -15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 180 C and cook for a further 45 minutes.
Leave to cool and enjoy it!!!!!
The ingredients given in this recipe are for the traditional Panettone. You could replace them with a similar amount of your favorite ingredients. My children love chocolate so I replace the candied fruit with dark, milk and white chocolate chips.
Another Italian Christmas cake: PANDORO
If Panettone is too rich for your taste you could try Pandoro. Just as popular as Panettone over the Christmas holidays Pandoro is a buttery sponge cake served with a dusting of icing sugar. It is fluffier and lighter than Panettone and without candied fruit.
The classic Pandoro is a plain sponge but there are also variations filled with chocolate or custard.