Wednesday, December 5, 2007
I love making these wonderful mini panettones! I'm not a fan of fruit cake, but I do like these fruited Italian breads. You can use pretty much any fruit that you like, but I prefer to use candied citron, lemon and orange peel and cherries. This recipe comes from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook with a few differences in my recipe. She uses vanilla and I use Fiori di Sicilia, a citrus vanilla flavoring that I get from http://www.kingarthurflour.com/. The Fiori di Sicilia is also great in sugar cookies and cakes. This year I purchased my candied fruit from the grocery store, but the stuff you get from the King Arthur people is much better. The recipes calls for using 2 panettone molds, I buy the mini wrappers from King Arthur and divide the dough into 12 balls. They are great for dessert or breakfast and make great gifts. When I got my yeast packets out, I only had 1 active dry and I quick rise. I used the quick rise in the first step and it worked out just fine.
1/3 cup warm water (110 degrees)
2 envelopes active dry yeast
4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup warm milk (110 degrees)
2/3 cup sugar
4 large eggs, plus 3 large egg yolks
1 tsp. Fiori di Sicilia (or pure vanilla extract)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
1 1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups mixed candied fruit
1 Tbsp. milk
In a medium bowl, sprinkle 1 envelope yeast over warm water. Stir with fork until yeast is dissolved and let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup flour and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes.
Pour warm milk into small bowl and sprinkle with remaining yeast packet. Stir with fork to dissolve and let stand until foamy. Meanwhile, whisk together sugar, whole eggs, 2 egg yolks and Fiori di Sicilia. Whisk in milk-yeast mixture.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, salt and remaining 3 1/2 cups flour on low speed until mixture is crumbly. With mixer on low, slowly add egg mixture and beat on medium until smooth. Add the water-yeast mixture; beat on high until dough is sticky and elastic and forms long strands when stretched, 6 to 9 minutes. Beat in fruit. Transfer dough to buttered bow and cover with buttered plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
Generously butter 2 panettone molds; set aside (if using disposable molds, you don't need to butter them). Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface; knead a few times, turning each time, until smooth. Divide dough in half (or into 12 pieces) and knead into balls. Drop balls into molds. Place on rimmed baking sheet; cover loosely with buttered plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place until dough reaches just above the top of the mold, 45 to 60 minutes. preheat oven to 400 with rack set in the lower third.
In small bowl, whisk together remaining yolk and milk. Brush tops of dough with egg wash. Using kitchen shears, cut an X in top of each ball of dough. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 350, continue baking, rotating sheet halfway through. Bake until golden brown about 45 minutes ( if baking smaller breads, bake for another 15 to 20 minutes). If tops brown to quickly, tent with aluminum foil. Transfer to wire rack and cool for 15 minutes. Loaves can be wrapped in plastic and kept at room temperature for 3 days.