I have been a big fan of panettone for a long time. I can't remember how or why I first started to eat it toasted with fruit salad and yoghurt, but for me that is just the yummiest combination. Now we always have it for our Christmas morning breakfast and plenty of other days in summer too. This year I decided to try making my own and I was very happy with the results.
I used the recipe from page 220 of Carol Field's The Italian Baker. It starts with a sponge, which then becomes a dough and there is a first rise. Then a second dough is incorporated and there is a second rise. Then the fruit filling is added, the loaves are formed and there is a final rise in the molds before they are baked. It took all day to make but didn't require much attention. The kneading was fairly strenuous as it is a big sturdy dough.
I am not going to reproduce the recipe here because it is 3 pages long, but I do want to quote the best part:
"Cool on racks for 30 minutes, then carefully remove from the molds and place the loaves on their sides on pillows to cool."
Apparently if you cool panettone on a rack it will collapse. My beautiful loaves looked very cute nestling on a pillow while they cooled.
I don't have a panettone mold so I improvised by using a biscuit tin for one loaf and the basin part of my crockpot for the other. Both worked well but the crockpot was better as it allowed for a slightly higher rise.