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This is a very light version of the classic Italian Christmas Bread.

Makes: 1 small loaf Bake: 40 minutes


- 275g strong white flour

- 1 tsp salt

- 25g caster sugar

- 7g sachet of instant yeast

- zest of 1 orange

- 50g softened unsalted butter

- 1 large egg

- 1 tsp vanilla paste

- 120ml milk

- 50g glace cherries

- 50g candied peel

- 50g dried cranberries

- 2 tsp caster sugar, mixed with 2 tsp milk, for brushing


1. Put the flour into a large bowl and add the salt and sugar on one side, the yeast on the other. Add the zest, butter, egg, vanilla paste and two-thirds of the milk, then turn the mixture round with the fingers of one hand. Add the remaining milk a little at a time, continuing to mix until you have taken in all the flour from the side of the bowl and the dough is soft and quite sticky; you might not need all the milk.

2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes. Initially it will be sticky but it willbe easier to work as you continue to knead.

3. Add the dried fruit and mix well until all is incorporated. When the dough feels smooth and silky, put it into a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise for about 2-3 hours, until doubled in size.

4. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and fold it in on itself in a few times to knock out the air, then shape it into a round. Butter a deep 15cm cake tin and put the dough into it, pressing it out gently so it reaches the side of the tin. Cover with cling film and leave until it's risen to the top of the tin.

5. Heat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6 and then bake the loaf for 20 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 150°C and cook for another 20 minutes. Check with a skewer that is cooked through. The finished Panettone should be well risen and golden brown on top. As soon as it is done, brush the top with the sugar and milk mixture so that it is very shiny. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.


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