Posted by: zhak39 | October 10, 2005

Sultanas

Sultanas are a delightful, sweet, tiny, seedless raisin– a specialty of Tuscany. How do I know this? I read it in a book. I have never had a sultana, never seen one, never chomped this little fruit and enjoyed its bright burst of its flavor.

We are very fortuneate to live in a place where such abundance and diversity are available. Even in pre-internet days, with diligence and good luck just about any ingredient could be found. I remember my family looking for years for ‘orange flower water’ for a specialty bread, Pandolce, I wanted to make. My grandfather finally found some in Key West and brought it to me.

But to me, the abundance that we can access also carries discipline. Having instant access to everything under the sun and moon doesn’t mean that I should grab everything I can at any whim. Like eating strawberries out of season, preciousness suffers.

Some day I may go to Tuscany. I may savor the sweetness of this rare treat. I may sit under a tree at sunrise drinking strong coffee and break open a breakfast bread to find the treasures of raisins, sultanas, and candied citron.

Panettone

Grease a 2 lb coffee tin with

1 Tbls butter

Line with waxed paper then grease with

1 Tbls butter

Proof

1 Tbls yeast
1/2 tsp sugar

in

1/4 water

Sift

4 c flour
1/2 c sugar

Make a well in the center and pour in yeast and

3/4 warm whole milk

Draw the liguids into the flour until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough onto a board and knead for 10 minutes.

Rinse, dry and grease the bowl. Shape the dough into a ball and let rise for 2 hours. Beat in

4 Tbls butter
3 lightly beaten eggs
1/2 cup candied citron
1/2 cup sultanas
1/2 cup raisins
2 tsp lemon rind

until well blended. Re-cover bowl and ler rise for 1 hour. (It will be slightly risen, not doubled)

Put dough into prepared tin. Brush top with a little

butter, melted

Let rise for 30 minutes

Preheat oven to 400. Brush dough with

butter, melted

Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 and bake for 30 minutes, brushing once more during cooking time with

melted butter.

Remove from oven and allow to cool 20 minutes. Remove from tin and transfer to wire rack to cool upright. Serve complerely cold.

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