Chef Fabio Trabocchi of Maestro says this is the most popular dessert in all of Le Marche, with many "secret recipe" variations. It's enjoyed with a glass of cold milk or sweet wine at the end of a meal. If you can't find candied orange peel, use your favorite dried fruit instead.
Servings: 8 - 12 generous
- 1 1/2 cups dark raisins
- 1 1/2 cups finely diced candied orange peel
- 1/2 cup anise-flavored liqueur
- 7 cups Italian 00 flour or bread flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 3/4 cups sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 15 large egg yolks
- 3 lemons (finely grated zest only)
- 4 oranges (finely grated zest only)
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
In a small bowl, combine the raisins, candied orange peel and anise liqueur, and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and lighter in color. Reduce the speed to low and add the yolks a few at a time, and then the lemon and orange zests, mixing until incorporated. Alternately add the milk and the flour mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Switch to the dough hook and, with the mixer on low speed, add the raisin mixture. Mix until fully incorporated.
Generously flour a work surface. Place the dough on the work surface and shape it into a loaf about-- inches long. Place it on the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with sugar. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown. (To test doneness, insert a toothpick in the thickest part of the bread. If the toothpick does not come out dry, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake for up to 10 more minutes.) Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve warm or at room temperature.
Adapted from Fabio Trabocchi's "Cucina of Le Marche" (Workman, 2006).
Tested by Jay Premack.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.