California Walnut & Cranberry Panettone

California Walnut & Cranberry Panettone

A special walnut recipe from Nonna’s kitchen. A traditional Italian holiday specialty, panettone is derived from pane di Toni, or “Tony’s bread,” from the Italian servant who, in a pinch, improvised a high round cake with pieces of candied fruit, raisins and nuts. Gather your friends and family and wow them with this holiday classic.

Ingredients

For the Starter Dough:

  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoon) traditional dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

For the Dough:

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup ground California walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped California walnuts, toasted
  • 1 egg yolk lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Coarse sugar

Other Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons Cointreau

Directions

  1. In small bowl, combine cranberries with Cointreau. Let sit 1 hour and up to 1 day. Meanwhile, combine yeast and milk in large bowl of a heavy stand mixer. Let stand until yeast has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and sugar. Mix on low speed (or by hand) until combined. Transfer dough to a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest in warm place about 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in volume.
  2. In bowl of mixer, whisk together remaining sugar, egg, yolks, orange zest, salt, flour and ground walnuts.
  3. Add to starter dough mixture and mix until dough comes together. Knead by hand for 7 minutes or on low speed with a hook for 4 minutes, until dough is smooth. Knead in butter, oil, cranberries and walnuts just until incorporated (dough will be slightly sticky). Place dough in greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1-1/2 hours.
  4. Grease panettone mold or grease and line six 6-ounce ramekins with 6-inch high parchment paper. Punch the dough down and place in mold or divide into ramekins. Cover loosely with plastic and let rest in a warm place about 1 hour or until doubled in volume. Brush panettone with yolk mixture and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Top with walnut halves.
  5. Bake on middle rack of a 375°F oven, about 45 minutes for a single loaf and 15 minutes for individual loaves or until deep golden and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from mold and cool completely on rack before serving.