A classic holiday dessert, this panettone recipe is as traditional to an Italian Christmas as turkey is to an American Thanksgiving.
Give your family another reason to enjoy the holidays with this delicious sweet bread!
In case you haven't encountered it before, this holiday dessert is vaguely similar to a fruitcake, but not as dense.
And it only has raisins.
But, if you don't like raisins, leave them out!
Then when your cake is finished, dust it with powdered sugar or drizzle with melted chocolate - both traditional and TASTY alternatives to this classic holiday panettone recipe!
In a large bowl, combine the yeast, water and sugar. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes, or until the mixture becomes foamy. Add the eggs, yogurt, vanilla extract, salt and lemon zest. Mix well!
Then stir in the flour a 1/2 cup scoop at a time until the dough shapes into a manageable ball. Plop it onto a lightly floured surface and begin kneading the dough for about 5 to 10 minutes. If necessary, add more flour until you can easily mold the dough and it's not sticky - this could take 4 or 5 cups of flour in total, so be patient!
Place dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
My grandmother always used a blanket to cover and wrap the entire bowl for extra warmth.
While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and prep a round 8-inch cake pan with non-stick spray or olive oil.
In a smaller bowl, toss the raisins with confectioners' sugar.
Punch down your dough ball in bowl, and then transfer it to a flat, floured surface - then knead in the fruit!
Form the dough into a ball, place in prepared cake pan, cover loosely with a towel, and allow it to rise for about 25-30 minutes. Don't worry, it's normal for the dough to rise above the sides!
Brush the top of the panettone with melted butter, then bake for 45 minutes, or until it is a golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Voila! You're ready to serve this sweet treat to all your family and friends!