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Christmas Panettone or Chocottone from Brazil

Christmas Panettone or Chocottone

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Christmas Panettone or Chocottone

In Brazil, we cherish our Christmas dinner, especially the desserts and sweets. We have a sweet tooth, and it shows in the abundance of desserts we serve. During the holiday season, we celebrate with the delightful Italian Christmas bread, Panettone, which hails from Milan.

The reason why we Brazilians serve Italian food during the holidays is heartwarming, as many Italians immigrated to South America, including some of my own family members who came to Brazil in the early 1900s.

Panettone is a light and airy bread with festive flavors that are sure to delight. Originally the recipe contains raisins, but in my family like many others in Brazil, we replace the raisins for chocolate chips, or dulce de leche, making it an irresistible treat.

Christmas Panettone or Chocottone

Ingredients

3/4 cup (180 ml) water
3 egg yolks
2 eggs
1 orange, the finely grated zest only
1 lemon, the finely grated zest only
2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups (490 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (105 g) sugar
1 tbsp instant dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups (225 g) mixed dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, cherries)
(if you are making chocottone instead, replace it with chocolate chips)
1/4 cup (60 ml) dark rum

Instructions for Christmas Panettone or Chocottone

In a bowl, whisk together the water, egg yolks, eggs, zests and vanilla.

In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Add the egg mixture and knead until the dough starts to form.

Add the butter and knead for 5 minutes. The dough will be soft and very sticky. Place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, humid place for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

In another bowl, soak the dried fruit in the rum, stirring several times, while the dough is rising (at least 1 hour).

Fold the fruit and rum mixture into the dough until it is completely incorporated. Pour the dough into a 7-inch (18 cm) paper panettone mould. Place on a baking sheet. Let rise, uncovered, in a warm, humid place for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the dough has risen just above the edge of the mould.

With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Bake for 40 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre of the panettone comes out clean.

Remove from the oven. Insert two long skewers through the paper mould and through the base of the panettone, making sure they are parallel (see note).

Invert and suspend the panettone by the skewers in a large pot. It must not touch the sides or bottom of the pot. Let cool completely. The panettone will keep for 1 week under a cake dome at room temperature.

Enjoy!

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