December's Gourmet magazine featured a recipe for panettone that, despite being altogether too complicated, I found to be very seductive. I'll include the link as soon as it's published online. Note to self #1: Read the whole recipe before starting, including the part about the recipe taking 2 days start to finish. Note to self #2: If a recipe requires making phone calls to find more than 2 of the ingredients, abort! This recipe required locating: real vanilla beans (not hard and my new favorite way to use vanilla); panettone molds (slightly harder to find); and candied citron (surprisingly difficult - ending with my picking a fight with an employee at a local upscale grocery. I mean come on, try being helpful.)Note to self #3: A recipe that calls for "heavy duty stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment" needs such a mixer. My puny handheld mixer nearly blew its motor.
This was my favorite part of the recipe: the upside down cooling process.
The ingredients weren't the right temperature. The dough didn't mix as well as it should have, nor did it rise as much as it should have. The citron was for Grandma's gelatinous fruitcake instead of the delicious citrusy citron that is my favorite part of panettone. I baked it too close to the heat source in my 1960s gas oven, hardening the bottom 10% of the loaf... but the thing turned out pretty darn well.
And then I borrowed a big Kitchen Aid mixer to try... a second loaf.
This stuff makes delicious french toast too. We tried it with cream cheese mixed with cherry preserves or cream cheese with marmalade. Now that is the way to eat french toast.