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PANETTONE

2-3 packages active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup lukewarm water
4-6 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 cups flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup diced candied citron
1/4 cup white raisins, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup dark raisins, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons melted butter

Sprinkle yeast, 1 teaspoon of the sugar over 1/3 cup lukewarm water.
Let stand 3 minutes, then stir to dissolve completely. Let stand
5 minutes. If yeast doesn't bubble up and double in volume, try
again.

Mix yeast with egg yolks, vanilla, lemon peel, salt, remaining
sugar. Then gradually add 1 1/2 cups flour. Knead in butter.

Add 1/2 -1 cup more flour. When dough is firm and no longer sticky
(although it will be oily), knead for 10 minutes. Cover and let
rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes, or until doubled.

Punch dough down. Gently knead in citron and raisins. After these
additions, handle as little as possible so dough does not discolor.
Generously butter one side of a strip of waxed paper or grocery
bag, about 25 inches by 5 inches. Shape the dough into a ball and
wrap it loosely in the paper, buttered side in. Fasten the paper
with a string, paper clip, or toothpick. Set the wrapped dough on
a buttered baking sheet so the paper stands up like a collar.

Let the dough rise until doubled (15-25 minutes). Brush the top
with melted butter. Bake at 400 degrees on the middle rack of the
oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees,
brush top of panettone with more melted butter, and bake 30 to 40
minutes longer. Brush once more with melted butter after 15 minutes.
When done, the top should be crisp and golden brown.

Remove panettone from oven, let cool on a wire rack. Remove the
paper after the cake is cool enough to handle (or, if using waxed
paper, just leave it on and cut through it as you slice). Serve
in thick wedges. Panettone keep a long time if carefully wrapped
in aluminum foil and goes well with coffee or a glass of wine.
Also good toasted.

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