This recipe is adapted from "Great Italian Desserts," by Nick Malgieri. Nick Malgieri directs the baking programs at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. He is the author of nine books about baking, most recently, "The Modern Baker" (DK Publishing, 2008).
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the dough
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for bowl, mold, and knife
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
- 6 large eggs
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 3/4 cups candied orange peel, rinsed and chopped
- 3/4 cup dark raisins
- 3/4 cup golden raisins
For the sponge
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 1/2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes active-dry yeast
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
Make the sponge: Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until just warmed through; whisk in yeast. Place flour in a medium bowl and add milk mixture; stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until tripled in size, about 45 minutes.
Make the dough: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, salt, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add lemon zest, vanilla, and rum; beat until smooth. Add 2 eggs and beat until well combined. Add 1/3 of the flour and mix until well combined. Repeat process two more times with remaining eggs and flour. Add sponge mixture and beat until smooth.
Stir in candied peel and raisins until just incorporated. Butter a large bowl and transfer dough to bowl. Let stand at room temperature until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter two 2-to-2 1/2-quart charlotte molds or other straight-sided molds; set aside. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Fold dough in half a couple of times to deflate. Divide dough into 2 equal pieces and roll each into a ball. Place each piece in prepared mold and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature until dough rises to the top of each mold, about 2 hours.
Using a sharp buttered knife, cut an "X" into the top of each panettone. Transfer to oven and bake for 50 minutes.
To finish: Unmold panettone and transfer to a wire rack; brush all over with melted butter. Let cool. Wrap each panettone tightly in two layers of plastic wrap and keep refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.