For the starter:

  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • small pinch sugar
  • 2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (such as King Arthur's)

For the 1st dough:

  • The starter
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

For the 2nd dough:

  • The first dough
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 ½ sticks unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 9 egg yolks
  • 3 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup black raisins
  • ½ cup candied orange peel, diced
  • 1/3 cup candied citron, diced

Make the starter: Dissolve the yeast in 1/3 cup warm water. Add the sugar and let rest for 5 minutes. Add the flour, mixing with a wooden spoon until smooth. Let rise, covered, until tripled in volume.

Make the first dough: Dissolve the yeast in 1/3 cup warm water; let rest 5 minutes. Add the starter and mix with a wooden spoon. Add the sugar, egg yolks, and flour. Mix for 5 minutes. Let rise, covered, until tripled in volume.

Make the second dough: Place the first dough in a mixing bowl. Add the honey, 1 stick of butter, ½ of the sugar, the milk, egg yolks and flour. Knead for 5 minutes; add the remaining sugar, salt, vanilla, and lemon zest. Knead 5 minutes. Add the 1 stick of butter, 1 tablespoon at a time and knead until incorporated. Add 1 more tablespoon of butter, the raisins, and candied fruit. Shape into a ball, place in a buttered bowl, and allow to rise until doubled. On a floured counter, divide the dough into 2 pieces. With buttered hands, shape each piece into a tight ball.

Preheat the oven to 360 degrees. Place each piece in a buttered panettone mold (available from gourmet kitchen supply stores) and allow to rise for 1 hour. Bake for 45 minutes, brush a layer of water across the top using a clean paintbrush, turn off the oven, and allow the panettone to sit in the oven for 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Serve warm, at room temperature, or toasted.

Recipe courtesy of Italian Cooking & Living magazine.  Click here to view more delicious Italian recipes!