In honor of the first official "Having a Handmade Christmas" over at Abbi's blog, Proverbs 31 Living, I am submitting our family's favorite recipe for panettone, a Peruvian-style Christmas fruitcake. This is absolutely delicious, with a texture more like a bread than the fruitcake we eat here in America. It has a light citrus flavor and is really good when smeared with fresh butter. Peruvians traditionally celebrate their Christmas feast at the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve. The menu features this cake, spiced hot chocolate, roasted pork, empanadas(meat pies) and champagne. My husband absolutely can't celebrate the holidays without panettone! He was planning on traveling to a city 2 hours away to purchase an authentic panettone this year, but fortunately, I found and tried this recipe, and it's dead-on to the original if not better. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 c. hot water
1/4 c. melted butter
3 1/4 c. flour (does not work with whole-wheat flour)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
zest of 1 complete orange and one complete lemon
2 tbsp. sugar(I use rapadura)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. milk
chopped, dried mixed fruits, about 1 1/2 c., but depends on you!
Proof the yeast in 1 c. hot water with a little honey or sugar for 5 minutes. Add all other ingreedients to the pan of your bread machine, if using one, or else combine in a large mixing bowl and mix until well-blended; slowly incorporate the yeast. If using the bread machine, let it run through on the normal bread cycle. If doing by hand, prepare just as you would a normal, yeasted loaf of bread. Allow to rise 2x and bake in a angelfood cake pan at 375 for 30 min.