I bought 2 mini size loaves this year. Each one was the size of a muffin! They were adorable and delicious. And, I must admit, I found the miniature packaging to be so cute!
After eating my second one, I decided that I wanted to try my hand at baking my own panettone.
The first thing I did was research. I looked at a bunch of recipes and read to see how they varied. After much work, I settled on Carol Field's recipe from her book The Italian Baker. She is an excellent author and researcher. Her recipes are authentic, humble and delicious. (I did some minor modifications to her recipe -- I always alter recipes.) I found her instruction on panettone to be thoughtful, thorough and easy to follow. The end result -- Fantastic texture, extraordinary taste and the scent of the bread baking was worthy of it's own candle fragrance!
The recipe is fairly easy, as bread recipes go. There is measuring, mixing and kneading and lots and lots of rising. I made the bread over the course of 3 days.
I slashed X's in the top.
Then I covered them and let these rise in the pans.
I baked them in the oven, follow Carol Field's suggestion about using a reverse heat pyramid. I did change her timing and temperature a bit and found a 400 degree oven, for 10 min, 375 degree for 10 min and then 350 for 10 minutes, 325 for 30 minutes to be effective for the size pans I used.
I placed them on their side and let cool. Well, one I let cool completely. The other one, I wrapped in kraft paper and delivered while still warm to my father.
I love how the rustic bread looks wrapped in paper and twine!
Oh - I sliced the bread and ate a piece. Then, my daughters followed suit and it was unanimous! Delicious. I think I will be making another batch!
I posted the recipe I used -- with some alterations, here.