Classic Christmas Panettone
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3 1/2 cups
quick-rise instant yeast
In a large bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) of the flour, the sugar, yeast and salt.
In a microwaveable bowl, combine the milk, water and butter and heat until the mixture is just hot to the touch, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and beat, with an electric mixer, for about 2 minutes. Add the 2 eggs, one at a time, and ½ cup (125 mL) of the flour and continue to beat another 1 or 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. The mixture will be very gluey. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup (125 mL) at a time, until it forms a soft, sticky dough that begins to form a ball, coming away from the sides of the bowl. You may not need all the flour or you may feel you need a bit more — add any additional flour very gradually. Now stir in the almonds and the mixed fruit, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Place the bowl in a warm spot to rise until double in size — about 1 hour.
Grease a 2 L casserole dish (approximately 8 in/20 cm diameter and 4 in/10 cm deep). Line with baker’s parchment paper, then grease the paper as well. When dough has doubled in size, punch or stir it down. Transfer dough to the prepared casserole dish, forming it, as much as possible, into a smooth lump. Cover again and let rise 1 hour or until almost doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Whisk together the egg and water. Brush evenly over the top of the dough and place in the oven. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until golden brown all over and the bread sounds hollow when you tap lightly on top. Run a knife around the edges to loosen, then remove from casserole dish and cool on a rack. (Freezes well.)