An Italian sweet bread that will create a lovely gift at Christmas or to share with friends.
50g Golden Caster Sugar
2x7g sachets Fast Action Dried Yeast
250g unsalted butter
80g chopped Glacé Cherries
I tsp Aroma Panettone Essential oil – if you can track it down this adds a depth of traditional Italian flavour
Demerara sugar to sprinkle
1. Mix flour, sugar, yeast, salt, eggs and milk in a mixer using a dough hook at slow speed for 2 or 3 minutes and then on medium setting for 8 minutes to create a soft dough.
2. Add room temperature softened butter and mix for another 6 minutes.
3. Then add the dried fruit and mix together.
4. Put the dough into a bowl, cover with clingfilm and prove overnight in a cold place or in the fridge to develop the complex flavours of the panettone.
5. When you are ready to cook the panettone, preheat the oven to 180ºC (Fan 160ºC, Gas Mark 4) and brush the inside of an 18cm panettone tin with melted butter.
6. With floured hands take the dough from the bowl, knead gently to ‘knock back’ and shape into a ball, then put it into the panettone tin.
7. Prove the dough in the tin at room temperature for 2-3 hours – it will rise to the top of the tin.
8. Egg wash the top of the panettone with a soft brush and place in the centre of the oven to bake for about 25 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 150°C (Fan 130°C, Gas Mark 2) and bake for 30 minutes – check with a skewer.
9. Take the panettone from the tin, sprinkle lightly with demerara sugar and allow to cool.
Wrap in baking parchment and tie with a ribbon for the perfect foodie gift!