For those of you who aren’t familiar with panettone, it’s a sweet, Italian bread eaten during both Christmas and the New Year. I’ve recently learned that it’s popular to eat in other European countries, as well.
I’ve always wanted to make Panettone around the holiday time. It’s something that helps me feel more connected to my roots. As usual, however, I procrastinated a little too much.
Since I was short on time, I decided to make a simpler, yeast-free version of panettone, and I was not disappointed. Although the version with yeast tends to have a lighter, airier texture, my version still has the delicious citrus flavor and texture from the dried fruits, but takes a fraction of the time and effort to prepare. It also has this amazing crisp, golden crust and that beautiful, tall iconic shape. If you happen to stumble upon candied citron or orange peels (or decide to prepare them yourself), that of course, would be a welcome, traditional addition.
Quick Panettone (no yeast)
Quick Panettone (no yeast)
- 4-4 ½ C all-purpose flour
- 1T baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- Zest of 1 large orange
- Zest of 1 medium lemon
- 1C (shy) whole milk
- 1T brandy (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
- ½ C (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 1C sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/3 C dried currants, raisins or cranberries
- 1/3 C dried golden raisins
- 1 egg beaten with 1T water, for egg wash
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a panettone mold* (6.75 by 4.25 inches) or 8-inch round springform pan, and place on a baking sheet. In a large bowl combine 4 cups of flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and zests. In a small bowl, whisk together milk, brandy and vanilla.
In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar over medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time until well-combined. Alternately add the flour and milk mixtures over low speed until incorporated. Stir in dried fruits. Replace paddle attachment with a dough hook, and process over medium speed for 6-8 minutes or until dough becomes more elastic and slightly drier. It will still be very sticky at this point.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Incorporate up to ½ cup more flour (a few tablespoons at a time) while kneading until just dry enough to handle. The dough should still be much looser and stickier than a typical bread dough. Form into a round, domed shape the same diameter as your mold and place into mold, flat side down. Brush top with egg wash. Cut a cross-shaped slit into the center, 2 by 2 inches wide and ½ inch deep.
Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. To avoid over-baking, check doneness every 3-5 minutes towards the end of the cooking process. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Cut into slices with a serrated knife, and enjoy.
*Note: Panettone molds can be found online. I bought mine from Amazon.com.
**This recipe was loosely based on Mario Batali’s recipe.