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        Whole Wheat Panettone Header  
Whole Wheat Panettone

(Italian Christmas Bread)

   Whole Wheat Panettone Photo
Category: Holidays - Christmas, Desserts
Servings: 8 - 10
Total time: 5 hrs (including rising time)
Level: Intermediate
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An authentic Italian recipe from our kitchen to yours. Buon Appetito!


- 2 cups raisins

- 1/2 cup raisin juice

- 1/2 cup milk

- 3 1/2 teaspoons active yeast

- 1/2 cup all purpose flour

- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

- 1/2 cup rye flour

- 2 cups whole wheat flour

- 1/2 cup pumpernickel meal

- 1 teaspoon salt

- 1/2 cup turbinado sugar

- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

- 2 large eggs

- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

- Zest of 1 orange

- Zest of 1 lemon

- 1/2 cup candied citrus, chopped (optional)


1.  Add 2 cups of raisins to a bowl and cover them with water. Place the bowl in the microwave and heat for 90 seconds. Remove the bowl from the microwave and let the raisins soak for at least 30 minutes but preferably 1 hour.

2.  After 1 hour, stir the raisins in the soaking liquid and then, using a mesh strainer, drain the water from the raisins into a microwaveable measuring cup. Fill the cup with 1/2 cup of the liquid and discard the rest. Set the strainer containing the raisins over a bowl to allow any remaining liquid to continue to drain.

3.  To the measuring cup with the raisin juice, add the milk. Place the measuring cup in the microwave and heat for 40 seconds. After heating, stir the mixture, and then whisk the yeast into the liquid.




4.  In a small mixing bowl, add the all purpose flour and the liquid mixture containing the yeast. Whisk the ingredients together thoroughly. Set the bowl aside for 15 - 20 minutes or until the mixture has doubled in size and is very bubbly. This is referred to as the "sponge."

5.  While waiting for the sponge to rise, in a large mixing bowl, combine the rest of the flours along with the pumpernickel meal, salt, sugar and the zests. Mix the ingredients together thoroughly.

6.  Once the ingredients are mixed, make a well in the center of the bowl and add the olive oil, vanilla, almond extract, eggs and the risen sponge mixture.

7.  Using a spatula or wooden spoon, proceed to incorporate all of the ingredients together until a shaggy dough begins to form. Once you have a shaggy dough, turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead the dough for about 5 - 8 minutes until it is soft and pliable.

8.  Place the kneaded dough into a clean mixing bowl and cover it with a warm damp cloth. Set the dough aside and let it rise for 90 minutes to 2 hours or until it has generously doubled in size.

9.  Just before the dough is finished rising, place the drained raisins in a bowl along with the chopped candied citrus and sprinkle them with 1/4 cup whole wheat flour. Toss the dried fruit in the flour to coat them well and evenly.

10.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and place one oven rack on the bottom rung of the oven.

11.  When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured work surface and punch it down. Proceed to knead the dough again for 2 - 3 minutes.

12.  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a large rectangle (about the size of a cookie sheet).

13.  Take the floured candied fruit and distribute the pieces evenly over the rolled out dough. Then roll the dough into a log and pinch both ends of the log to keep the fruit inside the dough.

14.  Roll the dough into a ball by taking one end of the dough and rolling it over itself until it looks like a large cinnamon roll. Begin to pull the dough across your work surface until the dough forms a ball. At this point, the dough will pull and tear and some of the raisins and citrus fruit may fall out, but they can be pushed back into the dough.

15.  Once you have a ball, place the dough into a panettone form or a cake pan and cover the dough with a warm damp towel. Let the dough rise again for 1 hour.

16.  After the dough has risen, place it on the bottom rack of the oven and bake it for 20 minutes at 425. After 20 minutes, move the panettone to the center rack of the oven, lower the temperature to 375 and bake another 25 - 30 minutes or until the panettone is a deep, dark brown color and the bread sounds hollow when you thump on the bottom of it with your fingers.

17.  When the panettone has finished baking, remove it from the oven and let it cool at least 90 minutes before serving.