Since we are on a bit of a Christmas buzz this week, let me tell you about a Runawaykiwi family tradition. Ever Christmas morning for as long as I can remember Christmas morning has started with toasted panettone, roast peaches (Christmas is in summer in NZ), mascarpone and a glass of champagne. It’s the exact type of light feast that feels special but isn’t going to fill you up before Christmas lunch ensues. Since panettone is stupidly expensive in New Zealand, it has also become tradition to make our own panettone. Bonus being that you can put in whatever you want, or in my case exclude the hideous orange peel that people insist on putting in them.
So here is the recipe, originally torn from a magazine a million years ago (if you recognize it please let me know!), I know it says to use a mixer…but skint kiwis don’t have that sort of tech so I made it all by hand.
Even if you mess it up it will still taste great and you can always just cut it I to smaller pieces before you toast so no one will know. Give it a go!
7g instant dried yeast
2 cups plain flour
1/4 cup warm milk
1 egg yolks (extra)
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
200g butter, at room temperature
½ cup dried fruit of your choice
½ cup crushed nuts of your choice
egg (extra), whisked
1 Pour warm water into a bowl, add yeast and whisk with a fork until combined. Stand in a warm place for 10 minutes or until frothy. Add 1/4 cup flour and stir until combined. Cover and stand in a warm place for 30 minutes or until mixture has doubled in size.
2 Meanwhile, combine remaining yeast and warm milk in a jug. Stand in a warm place for 10 minutes or until frothy.
3 Put eggs, egg yolk (extra), sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Using an electric hand-beater, beat until thick and creamy. Add milk mixture and stir until well combined.
Attach a Y-shaped beater to your electric beater. Put butter in beater bowl with half of remaining flour. Gently beat at low speed until flour is combined. Add remaining flour and gently beat until combined and mixture is crumbly.
With motor running on low speed, add yeast/flour mixture and egg/milk mixture, beating slowly until well combined. Increase speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes or until dough is elastic and pale lemon in colour. Remove bowl from beater. Add dried fruit and nuts. Stir until well combined.
4 Lightly grease a bowl. Transfer dough to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and stand in a warm place for 1 to 1½ hours or until mixture has doubled in size.
5 Preheat oven to 200C. Put paper moulds on a large baking tray. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide mixture into 4 even portions. Lightly knead each portion and divide again into 3 even portions. Roll each portion into a ball and drop each ball into a mould. Stand in a warm place for 20–25 minutes or until dough rises and just reaches the top of the moulds. Brush with egg (extra). Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 180C and bake for a further 15 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.