Panettone with Beldi Preserved Lemons and 1.34 Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
It wouldn't be an Italian christmas without a loaf of buttery panettone. There's usually dried fruit incorporated into the dough, we also used Beldi Preserved Lemons to add zesty citrus notes. 1.34 Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is a less traditional addition, but it contributes a richness and depth of flavour. A slice of this towering cake is as good at breakfast as it is with an espresso after dinner.
5 tbsp full fat or semi skimmed milk
12g dried yeast
3 tbsp dark rum
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g golden caster sugar
1 orange, zested
2 large eggs and 5 egg yolks, at room temperature – keep the whites for glazing
550g strong white bread flour
½ tsp fine salt
4 Beldi Preserved Lemons, flesh removed, and skin finely chopped
125g pine nuts
Icing sugar, for dusting on the top
- Very gently warm to the milk so that it’s tepid (this won’t take long), add the yeast and a pinch of sugar, stir to dissolve then set aside. If the yeast is active, then the milk will look frothy.
- Place the raisins, sultanas, rum and balsamic vinegar in a small pan and bring up to a simmer, then turn off and leave to cool so the fruits plump up.
- Chop the butter into small pieces and add to a large bowl, with the sugar and orange zest. Beat with an electric whisk (or use a stand mixer) for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and yolks, then slowly add this to the butter mixture, a little at a time, allowing it to be fully incorporated before anymore is added. If the mix begins to split, then add 1 tbsp of the flour.
- Sift the flour, salt and nutmeg into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add both the milk and yeast mixture and the butter and eggs. Use a large spatula or metal spoon to fold together so that you have a sticky dough. Leave for 10 minutes covered with a cloth. The next stage can either be done by hand or in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the raisin mixture, along with the preserved lemon skin and pine nuts and mix together by lifting the edges of the dough and folding over itself, turning the dough 90 degrees each time. Leave for 5 minutes, then repeat and do this 3-4 times, so all the fruits are completely incorporated. After the final folds, shape the dough into a ball shape and cover with a cloth or cling film and leave in a warm place for 1 ½ hours or until doubled in size. If using a stand mixer, knead on a slow speed for around 7 minutes, then shape into a ball and prove.
- Whilst the dough is proving, line a 20cm loose bottomed cake tin with a ready-made panettone liner, or with a double layer of baking paper that rises above the edge of the cake tin by 10 cm.
- once the dough has proved, lightly flour your worksurface and empty the dough out. Form the dough into a smooth ball by pinching the edges of the dough and stretching them away from you, then pulling back over the dough. Turn the dough and repeat this until you have a nice tight edge all the way around, then turn the dough over and drop into the cake. Cover loosely, then leave to rise in a warm place until tripled in size, which will take around 2 hours, or a little longer.
- When ready to cook, pre heat your oven to 180C fan/200C non-fan. Gently brush the top of the panettone with egg white, place on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature by 20C and bake for a further 30-35 minutes. If the top begins to get very dark, then cover loosely with foil. Check to see if its ready by inserting a skewer into the centre – if it comes out clean then its cooked.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then carefully remove the tin and allow to cool completely on a wite rack. When ready to serve, dust the top liberally with icing sugar.