Beginning sometime around mid October Brazilian supermarkets begin to stock up on panettone and the panettone eating season begins. There is no way to avoid it and at every corner you will be bombarded with this tasty sweet bread loaf.
Panetonne is originally from the city of Milan, Italy and the orthern Italian immigrants brought panettone to Brazil in the early 20th century. There are several different stories of how the panettone loaf received its name. The first tells that Fr. Antonio was very fond of this particular bread and because he wore a hat similar to the shape of the bread (tall with a puffy top) it became known as ‘pane di Tony’ or Tony’s Bread. Another story suggests that the name panettone came from the Milanese ‘pane del ton’ meaning ‘cake of luxury’. Or another play with these words says that the name came from ‘pane’ which means bread and ‘tone’ which is large. Now, the last story tells that a Milanese nobleman, Ughetto Atellani, loved Adalgisa, the daughter of a poor baker named Toni. In order to try to win Adalgisa’s hand in marriage the nobleman disguised himself as a baker and invented a rich cake to which he added flour, yeast, butter, eggs, dried raisins, and candied lemon and orange peel. The bread was praised and the nobleman and Adalgisa were married.
Whether any of these hold true is not for me to say, but a bread with a little story behind it is always something wonderful.
So, although panettone is so easy to buy at this time of year in Brazil I decided that, nevertheless, I still needed to learn how to make it. This recipe is my first attempt, and, although it tasted absolutely delicious there are some things that I need to work on to make this loaf much better. For starters, I didn’t quite get the puffy top to the loaf which gives it its signature look. Secondly, I think that I kneaded the dough a little too much and maybe added too much flour taking away some of the light fluffy texture. But, apart from those two issues I was so happy with my first results that I thought I could still share it here.
If you do not want to try to make this recipe at home, but still want to have a slice of this delicious cake, you can order it on amazon.com.
The recipe that I used is a quick bread recipe based on brioche bread. Many of the panettone recipes that I came accross required about two days of rising, kneading, etc, etc, etc. I wanted to make a quick and easy panettone and opted to go with this recipe. The brioche dough is very sticky and runny and can be difficult to work. Don’t make the mistake that I made by adding tons more flour to try to make the dough easier to work!
To purchase the panettone mold online CLICK HERE!
250 ml warm milk
15 g yeast
350 g white flour
120 g butter
2 egg yolks
60 g white sugar
10 g lemon zest
10 g orange zest
30 ml vanilla essence
100 g crystalized fruit
50 g raisins
60 g almonds
60 g cashew nuts
Begin by mixing the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast together in a large bowl or on a counter top. Add the egg yolks, lemon zest, and orange zest and mix together. Add the warm milk and knead the dough together. Add the cubed butter and knead into the rest of the dough. Knead well for approximately five to ten minutes until the dough comes together well. Place in an oiled bowl and set aside in a warm area to rise. Leave to rise until doubled in size. Once doubled in size, turn out the dough onto a lightly floured counter top. Press the dough down forming a thick pancake. Add the crystalized fruit, raisins, and nuts to the dough and work in by kneading. Knead until all the fruit and nuts are fully incorporated. Split the dough into two equally sized balls, shape, and place into the panettone forms. Set aside in a warm area to rise. Leave until the dough is doubled in size. Preheat oven to 160C. Brush the top of the panettone with egg and bake until the top is brown!