In Italy Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without panettone, for this reason every year we at Kitchen in Tuscany make our own traditional christmas bread!
• 4 cups all purpose flour
• ¼ cup of sugar
• 2 medium eggs
• 1 packet dry yeast
• 1 cup of warm water
• ½ cup plain yoghurt
• ¼ cup of raisins
• 1 tablespoon butter, melted
• 1 tablespoon lemon zest
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
In a large bowl, combine the yeast with the water and sugar, then cover it and let stand until the mixture becomes foamy, approximately 10 minutes.
To the yeast mixture, add eggs, yoghurt, lemon zest, vanilla extract and salt and mix well. Mix in the flour, a little at a time, until the dough becomes a manageable ball.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 5- 10 minutes. Sprinkle it with a little flour to prevent it from becoming sticky and thus, making it easier to handle.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and set aside to let rise for about 1 hour.
While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a round 8 inch greased cake pan.
In a smaller bowl, toss the raisins with the confectioners’ sugar. Punch down the dough in the bowl and then place it on a lightly floured surface, then knead in the raisins.
Form the dough into a ball and place it in the greased cake pan, then cover it loosely with a towel and leave it to rise for about 30 minutes (it’s normal for the dough to rise above the sides of the pan).
Brush the top of the panettone dough with the melted butter, then bake until it becomes golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean from the centre, approximately 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
Dust with powdered sugar and serve to family and friends.