Panettone alla milanese

from Captain Corelli's Mandolin (2001) 
Time- Phrase
00:31:45  We don't accept food from the enemy.
00:31:47  Maybe a little panettone.

A legend credits the cake's being invented at the Royal court of the Sforzas. They was Christmas and the court chef had no dessert to offer. So the guests were given a 
sweet bread baked by a mere kitchen boy. His name was Toni and won the general praise. Rather than steal the praise for himself, the chef congratulated his assistant and named it after him. Toni's bread or Panettone.
The another story says that the invention was the work 
of sister Ughetta.
But, the real fact is just one: Panettone is a unic and fabulous Christmas cake what usually is accompanied with sweet hot beverages or a sweet wine, such as Asti or Moscato d'Asti. Or....a very Romanian semidry white of Recas or a Tamiioasa would be the best choice.
You need a lot of patiente doing this Panettone because the real work time is about 40-45 minutes and the waiting time takes 12 hours from your day. 
They said, the recipe is a very old one. I really don't know if this is a true fact, but....
But,who really carres about it ? The result worths all the money in the world.

ENGLISH version:
INGREDIENTS (for 3 panettone cakes):           
250 gr sourdough bread 
1,4 kg flour 
450gr butter
315gr sugar 
250gr raisins 
50 gr candied orange 
40 gr candied cedar 
-orange zest
15 eggs 
-50 ml Marsala wine
- salt, on your own taste
1. Set aside the sourdough(in a warm place for at least 2 hours). Then, crumble the sourdough and dissolve it in a small amount of warm water.

160 gr flour is mixing well with the dissolved sourdough. Kneading the dough by hand. Let it stand for approximately 3 hours.

3. Once the dough has fully risen, gradually mix in 135 gr of flour and some warm water, kneading the dough until smooth. Let the dough to stand for approximately 2 hours, until it doubles the volume.

4. Meanwhile, cut the candied cedar and orange pieces into small cubes and soak the sultana raisins in warm water (here I gave my personal touch to the recipe: I soaked raisins in 50 ml Marsala wine).

5. In a saucepan, mix the sugar with an inch of water. Heat and stir until completely dissolved. Once the syrup is lukewarm, remove from direct heat and place the saucepan on Bain-Marie. Add 3 eggs and 12 yolks and lightly heat the mixture. In a separate saucepan, melt 315 gr of butter on low heat. Do not boil the butter.

6. Mix 1 kg of flour with salt(some about 2 tsp). Make a well in the middle. Gradually add the leavened dough, the melted butter, the sugar and egg mixture. Knead the dough for 20 minutes.You can beat the dough onto the pastry board.
Drain the raising and dry them in a clean kitchen towel. Add all fruits and the zest into the dough, kneading the dough for 2-3 minutes until all is well combined.

7. Divide the dough into 3 parts, giving each one a ball shape. Place Panettone onto a  buttered and dusted with flour piece of baking paper.Using a strip of thin cardboard, surround each Panettone , creating a kind of mould. Let the Panettone leaven in a warm place for at least 6 hours. 

8. After 6 hours, let the Panettone  in a cool place for 10 minutes then score the top of the dough with a cross.
Bake then at 180 C for 5 minutes;  slice the remaining butter and place them on the score lines. Leave into the oven for 1 hour – 1 1/4 hour, slowly diminishing the temperature as the Panettone begins to darken.

-make panettone in a warm place
-use a high quality flour
-use high quality ingredients
-during of all those waiting times you can do something else into your kitchen
-the white eggs can be used for another recipe (as I done)
-nothing is wasted into your kitchen, everything can be reused or used for other purposes
-I crumbled few pieces from the step 3 dough, poured with flour and  let them stand away, just to dry their surface; after that, I stucked those pieces of dough in flour and... I'll be use them as a natural yeast for another leavened dough
-for melting butter use the microwave on defrozen function
-even if , during of step 6 you are tempted to add an extra amount of flour, just help yourself, ok ?

ROMANIAN version:                                
Ingrediente (pt. 3 panettone):
-250 gr aluat de piine
-1,4 kg faina
-450 gr unt
-315 gr zahar
-250 gr stafide
-50 gr coaja de portocala confiata
-40 gr seminte de pin confiate
-coaja rasa de portocala
-15 oua
-50 ml vin Marsala
1. Lasa aluatul de piine sa stea la caldura pt. 2 ore apoi rupe-l si dizolva-l intr-o cantitate mica de apa calduta.
2. 160 gr faina se framinta cu aluatul dizolvat.Lasa-l sa stea 3 ore.
3. Cind a crescut pina si-a dublat volumul, gradual framinta-l cu 135 gr faina si putina apa calduta pina rezulta un aluat omogen si fin.
4. Intre timp taie in cuburele portocala confiata, zdrobeste semintele de pin si pune stafidele la inmuiat in apa (eu le-am inmuiat in vin Marsala).
5. Intr-o tigaie amesteca zaharul cu un inch de apa( aprox 0,5 cm in inaltime apa). Incalzeste siropul pina se dizolva zaharul apoi pune tigaia pe abur.Adauga 3 oua si 12 galbenuse. Amesteca totul si incalzeste usor amestecul pina se omogenizeaza. In alt vas topeste untul. Nu-l fierbe.
6. Amesteca 1kg de faina cu 2 l-te de sare. Fa o 'gaura' in faina si adauga gradual aluatul de mai sus, compozitia de oua si untul.Framinta totul pret de 20 de minute. Poti bate aluatul de masa. Scurge stafidele si usuca-le intr-un prosop curat. Adauga-le la aluat impreuna cu coaja de portocala. Omogenizeaza bine totul.
7. Imparte aluatul in 3. Da-le forma de minge apoi pune-le pe cite un disc de hirtie de copt, uns cu unt si infainat. Cu o banda din aceeasi hirtie inconjoara aluatul creind un fel de cilindru(butoi). Cele 3 forme lasa-le sa stea 6 ore la loc caldut (eu le-am bagat si in cite-o oala, ca sa fiu sigura...!).
8. Dupa cele 6 ore, pune pt. 10 minute aluatul intr-un loc racoros apoi zgirie-i suprafata sub forma unei cruci.Da-l la cuptor pt. 5 minute, la 180 C. Restul de unt se taie in fisii si se intinde pe  crucile de pe suprafata aluatului. Dati iar aluatul la copt pt. inca o ora, poate chiar o ora si un sfert, reducind usor caldura cind  panettone-le incepe deja sa se aureasca.

The perfect gift for my mother !

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