375 ml/1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tbsp granulated yeast (1 1/2 packets)
1 1/4 tbsp kosher salt
170g/1/2 cup honey
8 eggs, lightly beaten
225g/1 cup/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 1/2 tsp orange extract
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1050g/7 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used half strong white bread flour and half plain flour – this roughly replicates the protein level found in North American all purpose flour)
2 cups mixed dried and/or candied fruit, chopped (suggest a combination of two or more of sultanas, dried cranberries, dried sour cherries, candied peel – use about 50% candied peel and 50% other stuff).
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water)
Coarse sugar (demerera works well) for sprinkling on the top of the loaf
Mix yeast, salt, honey, eggs, melted butter, extracts and zest with the water in a large (5 litre) bowl, or lidded (not airtight) food container.
Mix in flour and dried fruit/peel without kneading, using a spoon, large capacity food processor (with dough attachment), or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle attachment). You may need to use wet hands to get the last bit of flour to incorporate if you’re not using a machine. The dough will be wet, but will firm up when chilled (don’t try to use it without chilling).
Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2-3 hours depending on room temperature.
Refrigerate dough (loosely covered with clingfilm or with a non-airtight lid) for at least 24 hours, and up to 5 days. Beyond that, the dough stores well in the freezer for up to 3 weeks in an airtight container. Freeze in loaf sized portions. When using frozen dough, thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours before use, then allow usual rest and rise time.
On baking day, grease a Panettone or brioche pan with butter. If you don’t have these particular kinds of pans (I don’t), you can try one of the following:
If you have a cake pan of the appropriate diameter (approx. 6 inches or 15cm), line the bottom of the pan with greaseproof paper, and line the sides with a tall (i.e. extending above the rim of the pan), double layer of greaseproof paper. This will give it enough stability
Line a flat baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Cut out and staple together a tall ring of quadruple layers of greaseproof paper, 6-7 inches/15-17.5cm in diameter. Stand it on the lined baking sheet, and place your dough inside. The diameter of the piece of dough should be about 1 inch/2.5 cm smaller than the paper mould – it will expand to fit it.
Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off half of it. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Place the ball into the pan, seam side down.
Loosely cover the dough with oiled plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for 1 hour and 40 minutes (I left it for up to 2 hours and it was fine).
Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 180 Celsius/375°F with the rack in the middle.
Remove the plastic wrap and brush the Panettone with egg wash and sprinkle with the sugar. Bake in the center of the oven without steam for about 1 hour until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped. The amount of dough and baking times will vary depending on pan size.
Allow to cool completely before slicing (or tearing apart) and eating. Store in an airtight bag or container.
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