Egg wash1 egg beaten + 1 tablespoon water, for brushing
Pearl sugarfor sprinkling
Mixing and storing the dough: Mix the water, yeast, salt, honey, eggs, melted butter, extracts, and lemon zest in a 6-quart bowl or a lidded (not airtight) food container.
Mix in the dried fruit and flour without kneading, using a heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle), a Danish dough whisk, or a spoon. If you’re not using a machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour. The dough will be loose, but will firm up when chilled (don’t try to use it without chilling).
Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises for 2 hours.
The dough can be used as soon as it’s chilled after the initial rise, or frozen for later use. Refrigerate the container and use over the next 5 days. To freeze dough see note #3.
On baking day, dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1 1/2-pound (small cantaloupe-size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom. Rotate the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Place the ball in the paper panettone mold, seam side down.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for 90 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C), with a rack placed in the center of the oven.
Brush the panettone with egg wash. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until golden brown and hollow-sounding when tapped. The amount of dough and baking times will vary depending on the panettone mold size.
Allow to cool on a rack before serving.
This easy panettone bread was made with active dry yeast — Red Star brand, though any brand of active dry yeast will work.
Golden raisins, dried pineapple, dried apricots, dried cherries, candied orange peel, or candied lemon peel are a few fruits that we’ve tried and loved in this panettone bread.
You can freeze thedough after its initial rise is completed. It's best to freeze dough in loaf-sized portions, then wrap tightly and freeze in a sealed container. Defrost in the fridge, then shape and bake as usual.
VARIATION: EASY PANETTONE BREAD MUFFINS (pictured)Makes 6 muffins Follow the easy panettone bread recipe but divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Form them into balls and let them rest in muffin cup liners. (The ones in the photo are called tulip liners.) Cover and allow to rest for 45 minutes. Brush with egg wash. Bake at 350°F (176°C) for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden and set.