A sweet, cylindrical shaped, yeast bread that is a traditional Italian bread served for holidays. Translated to mean "big bread," it is a bead that has a light, delicate texture spiced with raisins, candied fruit and nuts. Rich with egg yolk, the bread dough is often made with 5 to 6 yolks, 1 egg, flour, natural yeast, sugar, butter, and salt. The dough is beaten until it becomes elastic in consistency allowing it to not only hold the air within the dough but to expand as the dough rises as it warms. When ready, the dough can be formed into a tall, dome shaped cake or a flattened version to be sliced into wedges for serving, similar to a piece of cake. Panettone is traditionally served at Christmas and Easter but is also served at other celebrations, such as christenings and weddings. When served for Easter, it is common to see it formed into the shape of a lamb or dove.
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