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As promised here is the recipe used by Toni to enchant his beloved Lucia.
This recipe is for a panettone casereccio (home-made panettone). Normally people don’t make Panettone at home but buy it from the fornaio (bakers) or an alimentari (food shop). This recipe is not suitable for microwaves and you’ll need a fairly big traditional oven. Serves 10-12.
650 grammi farina 00 (23oz plain flour)
200 grammi burro fuso (7 oz unsalted butter, melted)
150 grammi zucchero fino (5 oz caster sugar)
15 grammi di sale (1/2 oz salt)
2 uova (2 eggs)
200 grammi uva passa (7 oz raisins)
100 grammi canditi tritati finemente (4 oz candied peel finely chopped)
50 grammi lievito di birra (2 oz yeast)
scorza gratuggiata di 1 limone (grated rind of 1 lemon)
1 decilitro circa di acqua tiepida (about 100 ml lukewarm water)
Lavorazione – Method
Dissolve the yeast in the water. Separate the eggs. Sift the flour in a big bowl, make a well in the center and add the yeast liquid. Mix by hand gradually adding the egg yolks, the sugar and the salt until the dough is fairly firm. Add the melted butter, mixing it well, then incorporate the lemon rind, raisins and candied peel. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-8 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place to rise.
After about 1 hour turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead again for 2 minutes, then shape it into a tall oval loaf in order to get the classic panettone shape. Place the dough in a tall, greased cake tin lined with grease proof paper. Leave it to rise until it has doubled in size (5-6 hours).
Cut the top to make a cross shape and brush with the egg white slightly beaten. Bake in a moderately hot oven, 200°C, Gas Mark 6, 400°F, for 1 hour and 30 minutes or longer, until well cooked and of a rich dark color.
Serve the panettone with Spumante.