There is nothing like baking Christmas bread in the middle of a heat wave. But, who am I to argue with Peter Reinhart? This recipe takes quite a bit of time since it relies mainly on wild yeast (i.e. a sourdough starter) to rise, but it makes some wonderful bread. I really was not in the mood for candied fruit peel (which I can only handle once a year) so I made more of a fruit loaf with currants and raisins. I actually forgot the almonds the recipe calls for. Oh well. Next time. I'm sorry the picture is so terrible (it looked way better on the little preview screen), it really does not do justice to this bread.
1. As mentioned above, you need to have some sourdough starter on the go to make this bread in two days. Otherwise, you are going to need a good week to get your starter going.
2. I usually use rum in these kinds of bread (and am always disappointed that you really cannot taste it in the final loaf) but this time I used whiskey. The flavour really came through.
3. I did not have panettone pans or papers, so I baked them in 8" round pans.
1. I subbed soy milk for dairy milk, and margarine for the butter.
2. I subbed a flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax whisked into 3 tbsp water) for the egg, and did not bother to replace the egg yolk. Soy yogurt would also work fine, or you could just forget about replacing the egg.