1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup cool water
1/8 teaspoon instant yeast
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia
2 tablespoons water
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour; or 1 cup Italian-style flour and 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup diced dried apricots
To make the biga: Combine the flour, water and yeast, mix until fairly smooth and VERY stiff, and allow to rest, covered, overnight. To make the dough: The next day, add the dough ingredients (except for the fruit) to the biga, mixing and then kneading; by hand, mixer or bread machine; until you’ve made a soft, very smooth dough. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 hour. Knead the fruit into the dough, trying to leave most of it inside; any fruit on the surface will tend to burn as the loaf bakes. Round the dough into a ball, and transfer it to a lightly greased pandoro pan. Allow it to rise, covered, for 2 hours; it’ll become noticeably puffy, but won’t fill the pan.
Preheat the oven to 350°F towards the end of the rising time. Bake the bread for 10 minutes. Tent it lightly with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 35 to 40 minutes, until its interior temperature measures 190°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove it from the oven, let it rest for 10 minutes, then gently remove it from the pan. When cool, sprinkle the bread with confectioners’ sugar or non-melting white sugar, and serve it, sliced, with mascarpone cheese, if desired. Store, well-wrapped, at room temperature for up to a week, or freeze for up to 3 months.