By Lee & Lou Havlicek.
Lee & Lou Cook.
Panettone may or may not be a household word for you, but in our home, it’s Holiday 101: A traditional Italian Christmas bread that’s lightly sweet—think almost like challah with fruit added. Panettone is Christmas. And New Year’s. And sometimes, Thanksgiving, too.
Every year, it’s part of our too-long (not possible) weekend breakfasts, our standing up in the kitchen snacks, our eating over the counter as the phone rings for phone conversations with friends that we don’t talk to often enough, our late-night desserts by Christmas tree light. Our family eats and gives out so many of these every year that I’m not positive we’re not responsible for most of the Panettone business in the United States.
When I cook, I almost always feel like there’s some little change I’d make or a variation I’d like to try, but not here. This recipe is it. The incredible pull of yeast dough—totally unique in its airy chew—is one of the most amazing textures. You can’t get it without yeast.
Making bread—and having it come out beautifully—always takes a little faith your ingredients, your abilities, and your recipe. Panettone is no exception, but the payoff is in some ways more unbelievable. The dough is like softly spun gold and just as precious after all the love and waiting that goes into it. Add tartly sweet fresh orange zest, dried apricots, cherries, golden raisins, vanilla seeds, and, the secret ingredient that puts it over the top, chestnuts, dotting the pale golden bread and you’ve got quite a thing to behold when all is done. There are different dried fruit combinations for Panettone, but to me, this one is absolutely perfect. I’ve looked all over, but I’ve never been able to find this exact flavoring in a store-bought Panettone. That alone is worth the baking…
For the rest of the post, the recipe, and oh so much more Lee & Lou click here.