I promised a few of you bakers out there that I would write about my Panetonne, the traditional Italian Christmas bread that I can not resist not making every year even though it is very time consuming but well worth every minute. I especially prefer mine over the store bought version because of its rich taste and density. I find the others to be way too sweet and full of air pockets.
Over 25 years ago I purchased two Panetonne pans from William Sonoma. With all the time it takes to make the Panetonne, I wish I had two more. I tried to find more this last Christmas but I could not find anything that even came close to this pan. There are plenty of the paper forms available. The only form that I just recently found was on Amazon. It has a center funnel, non-stick surface and a spring form buckle that releases the sides. It looks pretty good.
With a knife, cut the peel from a few oranges. Try to avoid the white membrane of the peel. Cut into thin strips. Place the peel in boiling water and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Repeat this process 2 more times, draining the peel well each time.
For the syrup: for every cup of peel, use 1/4 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar. Boil until the syrup is absorbed by the peel. Toss with a little powdered sugar and spread out on a sheet of parchment paper to dry.
It is such a treat to have a toasted piece of Panetonne for breakfast or later in the day with a little glass of Vin Santo or Sherry. Christmas morning I made Panetonne French Toast. I added a little Gran Marnier to my egg, milk, vanilla, a little salt and sugar mixture before dipping the bread into it. Pure heaven!
3 cups flour
2 packages active dry yeast
1/3 cup water
5 tablespoons sugar
3 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
grated peel of 1 lemon
1/2 cup citron
1/3 to 1/2 cup dark raisins
1/3 to 1/2 cup golden raisins
Dissolve yeast in 1 tablespoon of sugar & 1/4 cup of warm water, let foam & mix with 1/2 cup of the flour. From into a ball, place in a bowl, slash top, cover and let rise to double its size. Combine the rest of the flour, water and sugar. Add the eggs, salt, vanilla & grated lemon peel. Mix thoroughly. Knead (I use my Kitchen Aid mixer) in the soften butter. Then the leavened ball of the yeast dough. Knead for about 10 minutes. Add the citron & raisins. (I usually like to knead it further on my marble counter so the citron & raisins really get mixed into the dough well.) Put in a bowl, cover and let rise until double.
Punch down, knead a few more seconds and put back into bowl, cover & place in the refrigerator overnight. Punch down & knead again. Form into a roll & fit it evenly into a buttered & floured tube mold. Let rise until double, brush top with a beaten egg. Bake at 400' for 10 minutes and 30 to 40 minutes at 350' or until pulled away from the sides and nicely browned on the top. Turn out on rack and cool.
Bon Appetit !!!!