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Breakfast Bread (Panettone)

This bread is a speciality of the city of Siena, in Tuscany. Serve on its own or with lots of butter.

ingredients

10 - 12 servings
75 g (3 oz) 6 Tbs Butter, softened
15 g (1/2 oz) Fresh yeast
75 g (3 oz) 3/8 cup Sugar
50 ml (2 fl oz) 1/4 cup Lukewarm water
450 g (1 lb) 4 cups Flour
1 1/2 tsp Salt
175 ml (6 fl oz) 3/4 cup Lukewarm milk
3 Eggs, lightly beaten
75 g (3 oz) 1/2 cup Candied citron, chopped
75 g (3 oz) 1/2 cup Sultanas or seedless raisins
3 Tbs Raisins
2 tsp Grated lemon rind
25 g (1 oz) 2 Tbs Butter, melted

method

1. Using 1 tablespoon of the softened butter, grease a 1 kg (2 lb) coffee tin or a tall cylindrical mould about 15 cm (6 in) in diameter and about 18 cm (7 in) high. Line with greaseproof or waxed paper greased with another 1 tablespoon of softened butter. Allow the excess paper to come up over the rim of the tin. Set the tin aside.

2. Crumble the yeast into a small bowl and mash in 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Add the water and cream the water and yeast together. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the mixture is puffed up and frothy.

3. Sift the flour, the remaining sugar and the salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture and the milk. Using a spatula, gradually draw the flour into the liquids until all the flour is incorporated and the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should be elastic and smooth.

4. Rinse, dry and lightly grease the mixing bowl. Shape the dough into a ball and return it to the bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and set in a warm, draught-free place for 2 hours, or until the dough has risen and almost doubled in bulk. Beat in the remaining softened butter, the eggs, citron, sultanas or seedless raisins, raisins and lemon rind until they are well blended. Re-cover the bowl and return to the warm place for a further 1 hour, or until the dough has risen slightly.

5. Put the dough into the prepared tin or mould. Brush the top with a little melted butter. Set aside in the warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes, or until the dough has risen slightly.

6. Preheat the oven to fairly hot 200°C (Gas Mark 6, 400°F). Brush the dough with a little more of the melted butter. Put the tin or mould into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to moderate 180°C (Gas Mark 4, 350T) and bake the bread for a further 30 minutes, brushing once more during the cooking time with the remaining melted butter.

7. Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 20 minutes. Remove from the tin and transfer to a wire rack to cool, upright, until it is completely cold.

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