The Italian Christmas cake Pandoro is a delicious traditional Italian inspired family recipe.
For the Cake:
- 2/3 ounce/20 grams active baker’s yeast
- 3 cups/300 grams all-purpose flour (divided)
- 2/3 cup/120 grams granulated sugar (divided)
- 1 whole egg
- 1 lemon (zested)
- 5 egg yolks (divided)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup cream
- 2 sticks/200 grams unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 1/3 cup/30 grams powdered sugar
For the Mold:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Gather the ingredients.
Crumble the yeast into a large bowl and combine it with 1/3 cup of the flour, 1 of the egg yolks, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar, plus enough water to make a soft dough. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours.
Sift 1 1/3 cups of the remaining flour onto your work surface and combine it with 1/4 cup of the remaining sugar. Place the risen dough on top and add 3 egg yolks and 3 tablespoons of the butter. Knead well and then shape the dough into a ball.
Lightly flour the large bowl, add the dough, and cover it with the cloth. Set aside to rise again for another 2 hours.
Combine the remaining 1/3 cup flour and remaining 1/4 cup sugar on your work surface and work it into the dough together with the whole egg and the remaining egg yolk. Knead the dough well until it is homogenous; put it in a floured bowl and cover it with a cloth, and let it rise for another 2 hours.
Flour your work surface and return the dough to it. Add the lemon zest and the vanilla extract, then knead in the cream a little at a time until it is completely absorbed.
Spread the dough out on your work surface and shape it into a rectangle using a rolling pin. Cut the remaining 13 tablespoons butter into small bits and distribute them over the center of the sheet of dough.
Fold the sheet into thirds, and then roll it out again. Let it rest for 30 minutes, and repeat this folding and rolling two more times.
Preheat the oven to 400 F/200 C. Butter and flour the cake mold, turn it upside down and tap it gently to remove excess flour.
Shape the dough into a ball and put it in the mold; it should fill the mold about halfway. Cover the mold with a cloth and put it into a warm place to rise until the dough reaches the top of the mold, about 20 minutes.
Bake the pandoro for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 360 F/180 C and bake for 30 minutes more.
Unmold the pandoro immediately and cool it on a rack.
Before serving, dust it with abundant powdered sugar.