Panettone - a traditional Italian Christmas cake.
1. Flour – The original recipe calls for a very strong flour (that we call Manitoba in Italy as it is made from Canadian wheat). I was unable to find it in Sydney! I did some research and apparently, the higher the protein level, the stronger the flour. I looked everywhere for a flour with a protein level of 14% or 15% (like the Manitoba flour), but found nothing. The only thing I found was an Italian bread flour (yes… straight from Italy!), that had a content of 12.6%… and I had to settle for that! The other varieties of bread flour I saw here only had an 11.5% proteins! A bit disappointing… 2. I let the dough rise in my oven. I keep the oven off, but turn the light on… this is enough to warm it up just enough to help the dough rising. 3. Use a VERY sharp knife to make the cross shaped cut on the top, it will make it much easier and cleaner. 4. Making panettone is not hard, but it takes time (the whole day!) and you need to be precise in measuring the ingredients… you do need a digital scale! 5. I got the paper molds from Italy… but I am quite sure you should be able to get them online too. Or you could substitute them with a high round tin. 6. For all Sydneysiders… I got my fresh brewer’s yeast in Haberfield at Zanetti’s.