This sweet bread has so many lovely flavours – you can’t stop at one slice.
• 6 tsp dry yeast
• 2 cups warm water
• 6 eggs
• 600 ml warm milk
• 500g caster sugar
• 200g butter, melted & cooled
• Vanilla essence
• ½ cup rum
• ½ kg sultanas
• 1½ kg plain flour
1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water together with 1 tsp of sugar. Set aside for 20 minutes.
2. Melt the butter on the stove and lightly beat the eggs.
3. Combine the flour and sugar in a bowl or on a baking board and gently add all the wet ingredients followed by the sultanas. Knead the mixture, adding more flour if necessary (i.e.: if the dough is too sticky).
4. Shape into a round ball, cover with a tea towel plus a towel to keep warm and let rise for 2 hours.
5. Punch the dough down and knead for a further 5 minutes.
6. Shape into a round ball, cover and let rise for a further 2 hours.
7. Punch the dough down again and knead for 5 minutes. Divide dough into small portions (size depends on how many panettoni you are making).
8. Shape the dough according to your choice of tins. Place the dough in greased tins lined with baking paper.
9. Cover and let rise another 2 hours.
10. Brush the panettoni with milk. Bake in a moderate oven for 1 hour or until golden brown.