Magazine article Sunset

How Do You Say "Brown Bag Bread" in Italian?

Magazine article Sunset

How Do You Say "Brown Bag Bread" in Italian?

Article excerpt

A jeweled crust, lavishly set with crystals of sugar and golden nuts, crowns this citrus-flavored, honey-colored bread from Venice. Much like the popular and beloved panettone of Milan, this holiday sweet bread has a similar butter- and eggenriched dough, but it lacks the characteristic jumble of candied fruit and raisins. Instead, this version is lightly laced with candied orange peel.

Although the bread is traditionally baked in a paper-lined mold, we've improvised by baking the dough in doubled-up paper lunch bags, to give the panettone its tall stature and rustic simplicity.

Serve this handsome loaf Easter morning or as an afternoon snack with coffee or cappuccino. Many Italians also eat this rich, sweet bread as cake for dessert.

The buttery dough does take time to rise. If you like, you can bake the bread ahead, then thaw, if frozen, and reheat to serve.

Venetian-style Panettone (Veneziana)

2 packages active dry yeast

3/4 cup warm water (110[deg] to 115[deg])

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1/4 Lb.) butter or margarine, at room temperature

1 large egg, separated

3 large egg yolks

2 teaspoons vanilla

3/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel About 3-1/4 CUPS all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon melted butter or margarine

3/4 cup diced candied orange peel

1/4 cup whole blanched almonds

6 sugar cubes (1/2 in.), coarsely crushed

Powdered sugar (optional)

In a large bowl, combine yeast and water; let stand about 5 minutes to soften. Add granulated sugar, salt, the 1/2 cup butter, the 4 egg yolks, vanilla, lemon peel, and 2 cups of the flour. With an electric mixer, beat at low speed until the flour is moistened, then at high speed until the dough is smooth, stretchy, and glossy, 5 to 10 minutes. Add 1-1/4 cups flour.

To knead with a dough hook, beat at low speed until flour is moistened, then at high speed until dough is smooth and pulls cleanly from side of bowl. If dough still sticks, add flour I tablespoon at a time and continue kneading until dough pulls free (dough will be soft and slightly tacky), 5 to 10 minutes total. …

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