During Christmas and Easter my grandmother from Argentina used to always make pan dulce (or panettone, so us North Americans like to call it). As a little child I just use to marvel at how she would make HUGE amounts of it and share it with all family members as well as guests when they would stop by for a mate. The last time she was Canada I had asked her for the recipe as I wanted to make it some day. Unfortunately I never got the chance to do it while she was alive.
About a year ago I asked my sister Gladys to see if she had written down the recipe and she was able to send me the details. Alas Argentina, like most European countries, use grams instead of cup measurements and my first few attempts at making pan dulce fell flat, though still tasty. This past weekend I combined another recipe my other sister Maria sent me from a cook book and added the ingredients that my grandmother would add into hers. I here by give you a mash-up of my grandmother’s recipe with one my sister Maria had found.
- 1 dry yeast pack
- 4 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of yeast extract – marmite
- 4 whole eggs, 1 egg white (room temperature)
- one zest of lemon
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla
- 125 g of unsalted butter (room temperature)
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup of walnuts
- 1 cup of raisins
- Add the yeast pack to about 125ml of warm water with some sugar and let stand to froth for 10 minutes
- in a bowl combine flour, sugar, 4 eggs, butter, vanilla, lemon zest, salt and yeast mixture and mix until all blended
- transfer dough onto a lightly floured flat service and knead the dough until the dough has a smooth touch texture and not sticky (about 10 – 15 minutes)
- place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover it up with a plastic bag and let it sit for 2 – 3 hours in a warm place until the dough doubles in size.
- place the dough back on a lightly floured flat service and roll out the dough to a rectangle roughly 12″x24″
- add the walnut and raisins and knead the dough.
- Split the dough into 2 equal pieces and place then into 2 lightly buttered bread baking dishes
- cover up with plastic bag and let the dough rise for 2 – 3 hours until the dough just slightly reaches the top
- in a preheated 375 degree oven, place the baking dish and bake until golden brown (between 30 – 45 minutes depending on your oven).
- to garnish use 1 egg yolk and wash the crust with it and sprinkle some sugar.
I hope you will enjoy this as much as I do. My grandmother would be so proud of me!