Italian Christmas Bread


1 cup raisins
2 tablespoons light rum
2 tablespoons hot water
3¾ all-purpose flour
⅔ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon active dry yeast
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon lemon zest
½ vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
3 eggs, at room temperature
⅔ cup tepid water
1 tablespoon honey
10½ tablespoons unsalted butter, well softened
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, chilled
⅔ cup candied citron (I used candied orange peel) in ¼-inch pieces

Special Equipment:
Panettone molds (6×4½-inch) – purchased at King Arthur Flour
12-inch metal or wooden skewers

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