So going along with this Christmas in Jüly theme… I asked Mommah P. to show me how she makes her traditional Italian Christmas bread- Pannetone. This yümmy bread goes perfectly with hot, delicious coffee, tea, or a glass of sherry. You can freeze it for up to 2 months but make sure you use it within two days if you want to eat it fresh! Mom’s recipe originally had the candied red cherries, lemon peel, and almonds in it but I also ask her to leave that stuff out because I don’t like it. Ain’t I a stinka? So this recipe has raisins only at my request. Mom’s response to this picky request is often: “Madone!” hence the recipe is named as such. Enjoy!
3/4 cup water
1 stick of butter or margarine cut into small bits
5 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
2 envelopes of fast rise yeast
Handful of raisins (1/2 cup?)
Handful of anise seeds (2 tablespoons?)
You can also use anise extract if you mix it into the melted butter
3 large eggs beaten
In a saucepan melt the butter pieces into the water and set aside. You want this to be the right temp – not boiling but not lukewarm either. If this mixture is too hot you will kill your yeast (the yeast is added to the dry ingredients next).
Mix 4 and 3/4 of the flour with all the other ingredients (except the eggs) in a large bowl. Stir in the hot water/butter mixture and the eggs until it’s blended and a dough forms. Use the rest of the flour on a hard surface and knead your dough for about 3 or 4 minutes until it feels elastic. Place the dough in a bowl that’s been greased and cover to let rise for 45 minutes. We just placed the dough on a cookie sheet and covered with saran wrap to let it rise. To get the rising process started we placed the cookie sheet on a cookie rack and placed the cookie rack on top of the electric burner top. Heat it up for two minutes and turn the burner off. This warms the cookie sheet and gets the ball rolling on the dough rise. Clever, eh? Also dangerous. Don’t forget to turn off the burner and don’t try it with a gas stove top. 😉
Punch down the dough and seperate the twins. Place at either end of the cookie sheet. When they rise again they will be touching. Let them rise (again covered) about 20 minutes this time and go for a dip in the pool while they evolve.
Now you can bake for 45 minutes on a lower rack in the oven at 350. When done, let cool on a wire rack and glaze the tops with butter. Oy gevault! Delish!! Enjoy!
xoxoxox ❤>Üdo (and Mommah P) =D =D
Bouna Sera Senorita!