Soak all dried fruits in rum overnight preferably. Strain excess rum before mixing into dough.
Starter dough (Preferment): Mix the above and set aside until all bubbly. That's about 30 minutes or thereabout.
In a mixing bowl, mix butter & sugar until smooth. Add egg & mix until combined. Pour the butter mixture into the Preferment & whisk until combined. Then add the sifted flour into this mixture and fold & whisk until evenly combined. Cover & stick in fridge for 7 to 12 hours. Best is over-night or whatever schedule suits you. It should be about triple in size. When ready to use, take it out & bring to room temperature. That's the first part!
Using whisk attachment, beat butter & sugar until light & fluffy. Add egg, beat until combined. Add vanilla extract, honey & zest. Add starter dough & beat until incorporated.
Change to hook attachment
Add flour. Knead for 10 minutes using speed 2. Rest for 5 minutes.
Knead for another 10 minutes, using speeds 2 & 3 until windowpane.
Add soaked fruits. Knead for 5 minutes at speed 2, until combined.
Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl.
Stretch & fold 3 times with 20 minutes interval. Set aside and let it proof until double in size.
Lightly oil the counter top. Pour dough out & divide into 2 equal halves or 8 equal pieces if you use Ramenkins. Shape into a boule & drop into case. Oil your hands for easier handling of the dough.
Let dough proof until just below the rim of the case. Cut a cross at the top & place a, small piece of cold butter in the middle. Or you can egg wash and sprinkle pearl sugar & almond flakes.
Bake at 170C, bottom rack. Tent the top heat for 5 minutes. Then remove. Continue baking for another 30-35 minutes. Half way through baking, turn the bread 180 degrees.
Remove from the oven and pierce 12-inch metal or wooden skewers all the way through the panettone (including the paper) 4 inches apart and 1 inch from the bottom so the skewers are parallel. Hang the panettone upside down over a large stockpot and cool completely before cutting. Transfer to a wire rack and let it cool completely. To store the panettone, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then either place in a resealable plastic bag in the fridge.
This recipe makes a beautiful, soft, supple dough that is much like a brioche. Its stunning, and the flavor lives up to its looks. The bread is incredibly soft and sweet, and just loaded with flavor thanks to the vanilla bean, lemon zest, cranberries and candied orange peel.