Thursday, December 5, 2013

Gifts From Your Kitchen

All dressed up and ready to go; wrap and ribbon from Costco

I love making homemade goodies for friends and family; this year my pals at Specialty Produce challenged me with the idea of developing a fruitcake that people would want to make and they would make up a "kit" of the dried fruits to sell with the Farmer's Market Box as an add-on with the recipe. 
Today I tried out the panettone recipe which was fun to make, and a no-brainer.  It does need a long slow rise in the refrigerator, so I made the dough last night, then let it do its thing overnight.  The best part, I've got 3 beautiful panetonne, I can give away as gifts. Truth be told, they will go to Specialty tomorrow morning for a taste test before we go live!  But I will be making this for gifts this holiday season; there is something very satisfying about making your own breads, and I urge you to try this one, it's simple, and the results are delicious.

Specialty Produce Holiday Panettone
Makes three 1 1/2 pound loaves

An Italian tradition at holiday time, panettone needs a long cool rise in your fridge before baking, but it’s easily put together the night before baking. The dough can be refrigerated for 5 days, or frozen for about 3 weeks before baking. Serve panettone toasted for breakfast, or use it for French toast or bread pudding. 

1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
2 packages (3 tablespoons) dry active yeast
1/2 cup honey (see Cook’s Note 1)
8 large eggs
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) melted and cooled
2 teaspoons lemon extract (see note 2)
2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (see note 2)
7 cups all-purpose flour plus more for shaping
2 cups mixed dried fruits (dried pineapple, golden raisins, dry cranberries, dried apricots, mixed fruit---leave out prunes, they don’t work as well) If the fruits are large like the pineapple, chop them finely so you will have little bits studded throughout the dough.
1 large egg beaten with 2 tablespoons of water
Raw sugar for sprinkling over top

1.       In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, blend together the yeast, honey, eggs, melted butter, extracts and zest with the water. Add the flour and dried fruit, and mix until the dough begins to come together. The dough will be loose, but will firm up when chilled. (DON’T TRY USING IT WITHOUT THE RISE IN THE FRIDGE)
2.       Cover loosely with a towel and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and flattens on top, about 2 hours---it may actually reach the sides of the bowl, and spill over, so be ready!

3.       Cover with plastic wrap cutting a few vent holes in the plastic. Refrigerate for at least two hours—24 hours is optimum—or up to 5 days. Freeze in 1 pound portions (about the side of a large grapefruit) airtight for up to 3 weeks. Thaw the dough for 24 hours in the refrigerator before using.  

4.       When ready to bake, coat the interior of the panettone baker with non-stick cooking spray (I use Baker’s Joy—it’s terrific for everything)  

Great News sells these bakers
 5.       Dust the surface of the dough with flour, and divide the dough into three large grapefruit-like pieces (about 1 1/2 pounds each) Dust the piece with a little flour and shape into a ball stretching the surface of the dough around the bottom on all four sides, rotating a quarter turn as you go. Place the ball in the pan, seam side down. Spray the top of the loaf with non-stick cooking spray and loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise again for about 2 hours.  

6.       Preheat the oven to 350. Remove the plastic wrap and brush the panettone with egg wash and sprinkle with the sugar. Bake in the center of the oven for one hour until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped. The baking time with depend on the baking pan used (see cooks’ note 3)
7.       Cool completely before serving. 

Cook’s Note 1:   I used the San Diego Honey Company’s Rancho Santa Fe honey
Cook’s Note 2:  You can change this up and use 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (no zest) or sub. in orange extract and zest.
Cook’s Note 3:  6-inch Paper panettone bakers can be found at Great News, here in San Diego, but you can use an ovenproof  charlotte mold, a brioche mold, or you can line a 1-pound coffee cake with parchment paper and bake a high-domed loaf. King Arthur Flour also sells the paper bakers. (
Adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

So I urge you to order your Farmer's Market Box and this add on by midnight on Sunday. 

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