I am finally starting to appreciate the incredible gratification that comes with the lenghty process of making yeast breads. I haven't had much success over the past year with white loaves and had pretty much accepted that yeast breads weren't ever going to be a strength of mine when I found a recipe for individual Christmas panettones and thought.....DAMN YOU YEAST BREADS! YOU WILL HOLD ME BACK NO LONGER!!
I've been waiting for an appropriately crisp and wintery day (and the whole day free) to embark on this potentially disasterous adventure. I grew up on Panettone, it is one of my favourite seasonal baked goodies. I had never thought about baking one before...In fact (I am embarassed to say this) I didn't know people actually baked them....I thought that everyone bought them in their pretty decorated boxes and that was that!! I don't mind admitting that buying one certainly is easier, and hey you get a pretty box/tin as an addition...but, if the thought of yeast breads doesn't send you screaming from the room in terror, there is certainly a huge degree of satisfaction in baking your own!!
The dough is similar to a brioche. Enriched with eggs, butter, sugar, raisins and chocolate chips this dough is not quite the same texture as the familiar store bought panettones, but, by baking in clean chopped tomato tins the finished product somewhat resembles my holiday favourite!
from 200 Christmas Recipes
2 tsp easy-blend dried yeast
125g caster suagr, plus 1tsp
175ml hand hot milk
700g strong bread flour
4 large eggs, plus 2 yolks
rind of 2 lemons
175g butter, very soft and diced
175 dried mixed fruit (or a mixture of dried fruit and chocolate chips)
Grease 8x 400ml clean food cans and line with greaseproof paper that extends above the rims.
Stir the yeast and 1tsp into the milk in a large, warm bowl and leave for 10 mins until frothy.
Stir in 100g of the flour. Cover with clingfilm and leave for 30 mins.
Add the eggs, yolks, remaining flour and the sugar, vanilla extract, lemon rind and butter. Mix with a round bladed kife to make a soft dough, adding more flour if the dough feels sticky. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead. Leave to rise in a lightly greased bowl 2-4 hours, until doubled in sized.
Knock back the dough and lightly knead in the dried fruit. Cut the dough into 8 and drop into the tins. Cover and leave to rise until the dough almost reaches the rims.
Bake in a pre-heated oven 200degrees for 20-25 mins.