• 500g strong white flour
  • 2 x 7g packs of easy bake yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 5 egg yolks beaten
  • 60mls milk
  • 250g soft unsalted butter
  • 200g chocolate chips
  • 1 egg white, for glazing

I want to tell you this is easy to make; that you should have a go. But honesty prevents me from this lie. It’s a pain in the backside to make. You really DO need a stand mixer, I’m not just saying it for my health. AND you need patience, bucket loads. AND you need to be a forward planner. Start making this 3 – 4 days before you want to eat it. Is it worth it? Yes-ish. You can buy panettone too, some in beautiful tins that make me yearn to live in Italy. But they’re expensive, these tin filled panettones. Homemade is cheap as cake, but my, you need to be a patient little bean.

One year ago: Mini Yorkshire pudding canapes and Christmas pudding fizz and Brandy butter icing and Rudolf morsels

Two years ago: Lime meringue pie with chocolate pastry and Christmas scones and Ginger cake with Christmas cottage and Hot chocolate on a stick

Three years ago: Moonuts and Cheese biscuits and Parsnip soup and Inauthentic chicken tagine

Chocolate chip panettone

Makes 1

Ingredients:

  • 500g strong white flour
  • 2 x 7g packs of easy bake yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 5 egg yolks beaten
  • 60mls milk
  • 250g soft unsalted butter
  • 200g chocolate chips
  • 1 egg white, for glazing (saved from earlier)

Day 1: Warm your mixer bowl by sitting in very hot water for a few minutes. Dry it. Mix the flour, yeast, salt and sugar together in your stand mixer with the dough hook. Heat the milk to luke warm – your finger should be comfortable when dipped in it. On the lowest speed, pour your milk and 2 large eggs plus the 5 egg yolks into the floury mixture until combined. Then with the mixer still on the lowest speed add the butter 1 tbsp at a time and leave to mix for 5 – 6 minutes until well combined and the dough begins to look elastic. Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover with a clean shower cap or clingfilm. Leave at room temperature for 12 – 24 hours until it has doubled or even tripled in size – it must be at least double though. (YES! 12 – 24 hours, what a terrific pain! Just leave it out and try not to obsess over it, don’t prod it, uncover the clingfilm etc – just leave it alone! It’s an enriched dough which means it takes an age to prove. It’s just the way it is. And please don’t put it somewhere warm to ‘help’ it – the butter will melt in a swimming pool at the bottom of your dough and you’ll likely end up in tears.)

Day 2: Knock the dough back by popping the bowl back into the machine and removing the clingfilm. Let the dough have a couple of turns of the dough hook, add any choc chips or fruit of whatever else you fancy putting in it and turn until well combined – maybe 2 minutes. Grease a 20cm loose bottomed cake tin with butter, line twice (butter the first layer of paper to help the second one stick) with greaseproof/non stick baking paper, ensuring the paper is double the height of the tin – you are essentially extending the tin’s height rather than buying a panettone tin. Then line the outside of the tin with a double wrap of greaseproof paper, tying with string. Shape the panettone dough with your hands into a ball and press into the tin. Cover loosely with clingfilm and leave at room temperature for another 12 – 24 hours until at least doubled, if not tripled in size.

Day 3: Bake! If you haven’t thrown the whole thing out in irritation then preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6, brush the panettone with egg white and bake for 15 minutes then turn the oven down to 180C/gas mark 4 and bake for another 35 minutes until a skewer comes out of the centre of the panettone clean. If you notice the panettone is browning too much then make a foil hate for the top to protect it from the heat.

Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack. Phew! What a palaver. I might just pop to Sainsbury’s…

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