In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of the flour with the yeast and milk. Stir and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes, till mixture is foamy.
Add the oil, eggs, salt, sugar, panettone essence and remaining flour. Knead well (you can use the dough hook on your electric mixer). Gather dough into a ball, place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour, or till doubled in size.
Remove dough from bowl and knead in the dried fruits and mixed peel. Place into a lined panettone mould, cover and let rise again for 40 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
Cut an 'x' on top of the risen panettone, brush with melted butter, then bake in the preheated oven till well risen and a nice golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before slicing and serving.
As one might guess, panettone essence is used to flavour panettone and combines vanilla with citrus and spices. It does indeed lend another dimension of flavour to panettone, and you can order it online or find it in some speciality shops. You can also make your own with this recipe on the site. In a pinch, you can use vanilla extract instead.