2/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup grappa or brandy
5 tablespoons butter, softened
2 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
¼ cup warm (110º to 115ºF) water
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 1/2 to 5 cups plus 1 tablespoon King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
Grated zest of 1 medium orange
Grated zest of 1 medium lemon
1/2 cup chopped candied citron
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm (110º to 115ºF) water
1/4 cup King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
To make the sponge, in a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the flour and stir with a spoon or your fingers to make a loose, almost liquid, dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
In a small bowl, combine the raisins and grappa or brandy, and let marinate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
In a large bowl, stir the butter, eggs, yolks, sugar, warm water and vanilla together. Drain the marinated raisins in a small strainer set over a bowl and press on the raisins with a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Set the raisins aside and add the liquid to the egg mixture. Add the sponge and mix well with your hands. Add the flour about 2 cups at a time, mixing with your hands until a ball of dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 5 to 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic, adding additional flour as needed.
Butter a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for 6 hours in a warm place.
Butter and flour a panettone or other deep mold at least 6½ inches tall and 7 to 8 inches wide. (The ceramic insert to a crockpot is ideal. Or you can use two 2-pound coffee cans and make 2 smaller loaves. Panettone can also be baked in two greased and floured 6 by 6-inch clay flowerpots.)
Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a floured surface. Flatten the dough out with your hands and sprinkle on the lemon and orange zest. In a small bowl, mix the raisins and citron with the 1 tablespoon flour, and sprinkle the mixture over the dough. Fold the dough in half, press the edges together, and knead to distribute the fruits. Continue to knead for 5 to 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth, adding additional flour if necessary. Place the dough in the mold, cover with a clean cloth, and let rise for 35 minutes in a warm place.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut an X in the top of the bread. Bake for 5 minutes, reduce the heat to 375ºF, and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350ºF, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes longer, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. If the top begins to brown too much, cover the bread loosely with a piece of foil.
Cool the bread on a rack for about 30 minutes before removing it from the mold.
Want More Recipes? See My Latest Book:
Mary Ann returns to her family's humble beginnings to bring us a treasure trove of more than 200 time-honored recipes.
Buy it now from Amazon for just $24.00
A Testimonial From Mario Batali:
This collection epitomizes the tradition and love that goes into all of Mary Ann Esposito's cooking. Like her award-winning TV series, this book will live on for years with all of those who cook her delicious recipes. My kids love everything Mary Ann cooks!"