Making Christmas Panettone in Your Bread Maker

Published on 29th October 2013

By Leila El-Dean

In the run up to Christmas, and its closer than you think, many organised cooks are knocking up a range of delicious festive treats. There are those who will be experimenting with their bread maker to see exactly what it can do and there will be the accomplished users who are cooking and freezing ready for the busy holiday period. While this is undoubtedly a great time saver, there are some things that need to be made fresh to taste their best.

Festive Panettone

Festive Panettone! (image source: Flickr)

One of these is panettone, the traditional Christmas bread that originated in Milan and quickly spread across Europe. It is a sweet loaf that is prepared for both Christmas and New Year in Italy, France, Brazil, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany and Malta. The traditional 'cupola' shape is difficult to achieve without the proper tins, and impossible in a bread maker, but the taste makes up for the different shape.

It is also a lot quicker in a bread maker as when it is made the traditional way the proofing process itself takes several days. This is needed to give the loaf its distinctive fluffiness, but thanks to today's clever bread makers you achieve this very quickly. The original recipe contains orange, lemon, lemon zest and dried raisins that haven't been soaked. The great thing about this bread is that you can add all your favourites, even chocolate, to make a panettone that tastes great and has a modern twist.

On the continent, it is served with crema di mascarpone, a cream that is made from mascarpone cheese, eggs, candied or dried fruits and a sweet liqueur like amaretto. How you serve it is entirely up to you. Some like to slice it warm and butter it as you would with a malt loaf while others prefer it cold and serve it with the cheese board. How you eat your panettone is entirely up to you.

There is no hard and fast recipe for break maker panettone as far as the flavour is concerned. You start with the bread mix of .75 cup of water, .75 cup softened butter, 2 beaten eggs, 1.5 tsp vanilla extract, 3.25 cups flour, 2tblsp sugar, 2tblsp powdered milk, 1.5 tsp salt and 2 tsps yeast. Add these to the bread maker in this order and set to sweet bread - light crust. Set for 3 hours and set the add to beeper.

When this goes off add the sweet ingredient you want to add; fruit, nuts, whatever you fancy then continue cooking. Turn out, leave it for a bit if you want to slice it warm, then serve and enjoy. Panettone in a few hours thanks to you bread maker.

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