Special equipment: Panettone molds (straight-walled paper cake pans
), or several empty coffee
To make the Biga: In a mixer
with a dough hook, dissolve the yeast with warm water; then add the sugar and let rest 5 minutes. Add the flour and mix on low until smooth. Cover and let rise until it triples in bulk.
To make the Dough
1st Stage: In a small cup, dissolve yeast in warm water and let sit 5 minutes. Add it to the biga and mix with the dough hook. Add the yolks, sugar and 1 1/3 cups flour and mix 5 minutes on medium speed until shiny and smooth. Cover and put in a warm spot (70 degrees F) and let rise again until it triples in bulk.
After it has tripled, make begin the 2nd Stage: Add the 3 1/2 cups flour, honey
, half the butter, 1/3 cup of the sugar, the 9 yolks, and the milk. Knead
with the dough hook on medium speed, add the remaining sugar, salt, and vanilla extract
. Knead 5 more minutes.
With the mixer running, add 10 tablespoons butter, one tablespoon at a time. The dough should look smooth and shiny and pull away from the sides of the bowl. Place it on a work surface and schmear
it with the remaining tablespoon of butter and add the orange peel
and knead by hand until blended. Shape into a ball and place in a covered bowl and let double in bulk.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into 2 balls. Place the chopped almonds on a surface and roll the balls in them to coat well; then roll the balls in powdered sugar to coat heavily.
Place each ball in a buttered panettone mold
(straight walled paper cake pan). Let rise covered for 1 hour or until it springs back when poked and risen past the rim. Sprinkle well with powdered sugar again.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until golden brown. To cool, stick 2 skewers through the base of the paper mold and suspend the bread upside down by resting the skewers on 2 containers which are taller (higher) than the bread.