Panettone, an Italian Christmas Sweet Bread a not too sweet yeast bread, filled with raisins, candied fruit or Chocolate Chips. A delicious way to celebrate the Holidays.
Panettone, this is a much easier and quicker Italian Christmas Sweet Bread Recipe to make, everyone will love it.
Every time we head into the Fall months and Christmas is just around the corner, the Italian asks “why don’t you make a Homemade Panettone”.
Every year I think forget it, 3 days to make something that I can buy in a store? No I don’t think so. And then a friend of mine gave me this Panettone Recipe, so much easier and faster she said, you will love it.
For the Panettone
- Flour – all purpose
- Sugar – granulated or fine sugar
- Water – lukewarm water
- Butter – room temperature
- Salt – if you use unsalted butter add a bit more salt
- Yeast – active dry yeast
- Eggs – 2 large eggs and 1 yolk
- Zest – the lemon and orange peel
- Vanilla – extract
- Chocolate chips – or raisins, candied fruit or even a mixture
- Almond flour
- Egg white
- Powdered sugar – also known as
- Almonds – skinned
How to make homemade Almond Flour
If you like you can even make your own almond flour, place almonds, 1/4 -1/3 cup at a time, in a food processor. Pulse until you have a flour-like consistency. Then sift the flour into a container, any large bits pulse again.
Why use room temperature ingredients?
With cakes and other baking, it’s always better to use room temperature ingredients. So, take any cold ingredients out of the refrigerator an hour ahead of time or sooner if it’s cool in your kitchen. Room temperature ingredients blend easier, creating a silky batter or dough, which will help to create a light tender baked good.
How to make it
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attached, add sifted flour, in the center add yeast, sugar, butter, eggs, yolk, zest, vanilla and half the water. Mix 20 seconds, then change to the dough hook and add the remaining water and salt.
Mix for 15- 20 minutes, stopping after 10 minutes to scrape the hook and bowl. After 20 minutes add either the raisins, candied fruit or chocolate chips (or even a mixture if you wish) mix on low for a couple of minutes until combined.
Remove to a flat lightly floured board, lightly rub hand with butter and gather the dough into a ball. Place in a large oiled bowl, cover with plastic and a dish towel. Place in a draft free, warmish spot to rise for 2-3 hours or until tripled in size.
Once risen, move back to a lightly floured flat surface, with hands lightly buttered and roll again into a ball, place in greased Panettone mold. Cover with plastic and a clean tea towel and let rise for an hour.
In a small/medium bowl mix together almond flour, cornstarch, sugar and egg white. Set aside.
Pre-heat the oven.
Carefully brush the risen Panettone with the topping, top with the almonds and sprinkle with icing / powdered sugar. Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes using a toothpick for doneness. Move to a wire rack to cool completely before cutting.
Where did Panettone originate?
The tradition of panettone has its origins in Lombardy. It is believed that panettone was introduced, almost by chance, in the kitchens of the famous Ludovico il Moro.
Ludovico il Moro was the regent of the Duchy of Milan from 1480 to 1494. His court was one of the most splendid in Europe.
Apparently during a Christmas Eve banquet, the court’s personal cook mistakenly burned the after dinner dessert. He panicked and requested the servant boy to resolve his problem.
The poor boy “Toni” decided to take advantage of a stick of yeast which he had saved up for his Christmas lunch, he added flour, eggs, raisins, candied fruit and sugar to it, and he created “Pane di Toni. Later to become Panettone!
When to eat Panettone
Christmas in Italy begins earlier, usually early November when Panettone and Pandora are easily found in grocery stores. Panettone is the most consumed Christmas dessert in Italy. The second most consumed dessert of the holidays is Pandoro which, unlike Panettone, is the most loved dessert by children.
Panettone is the preferred dessert for the end of the festive dinner, and is also consumed by many for breakfast, soaked in a cappuccino, in a caffe latte or even eaten for a snack in the afternoon.
What you will need to make this Homemade Panettone
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- Mixer – I have a mixer that will knead bread, but my dream mixer is this one.
- Mold – I use a very tall cake Pan which is about 6 inches tall but these molds are very good too.
- Flour – If you want to make bread you are going to need flour!
- Active Dry Yeast – I prefer this to cake yeast which is very popular here.
What is the difference between Panettone and Pandoro
To start Panettone has a round shape, with a fairly thick crust and is filled with raisins, chocolate chips or candied fruit, whereas Pandoro, has the typical star shape. The outside is a little darker than the inside, but both are soft and it is always served dusted with an abundant amount of powdered sugar.
How to store it
Panettone should be kept in an airtight bag at room temperature. It will keep for up to 3 days.
How to freeze Panettone
You can choose whether to freeze them whole or in slices by placing them in freezer safe bags, it can be frozen for up to 3 months.
I remember my first Christmas here and after our huge Christmas lunch, out would come the nuts, big slices of Pandoro and Panettone, chunks of Torrone, Chocolate and Nougat,
And of course every Italian has their preference whether it be a tasty Panettone filled with candied fruits or raisins or a delicious Pandora which is more cake like and dusted with powdered sugar. Olives and of course my personal favourite bowls of Lupini, or Lupin Beans.
This is the perfect recipe to make on the weekend, you will probably need about 3-4 hours just for the rising time. If you have never made a yeast dough before, this is the most delicious thing to start with. Enjoy!
More Italian Christmas Recipes
Panettone Italian Christmas Sweet Bread
- 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour (sifted)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar (75 grams total)
- 2/3 cup water (lukewarm)
- 1/2 cup butter (room temperature/cut into small pieces)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1 large egg yolk (room temperature)
- zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon (room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup mini dark chocolate chips, raisins* or candied fruit or a mixture
*Plump raisins up by sitting them in boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain.
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon almond flour (30 grams total)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar (78 grams total)
- 1 large egg white
- 2-3 tablespoons powdered / icing sugar for dusting
- 1/4 cup skinned whole almonds (more if desired)
- In the bowl of the mixer with the paddle attached, add sifted flour, in the center add the yeast, sugar, butter, eggs, yolk, zest, vanilla and half the water. Mix 20 seconds, then change to the dough hook and add the other half of the water and salt.
- Mix for 15- 20 minutes, stopping after 10 minutes to scrape the hook and bowl.
- After 20 minutes add either the raisins, candied fruit or chocolate chips (or even a mixture if you wish) mix on low for a couple of minutes until combined.
- Remove to a flat lightly floured board, lightly rub hand with butter and gather the dough into a ball. Place in a large oiled bowl, cover with plastic and a dish towel. Place in a draft free, warmish spot to rise. Let rise for 2-3 hours or until tripled in size.
- Once risen, place the dough again on a lightly floured flat surface, with hands lightly buttered, roll again into a ball, place it in a greased Panettone mold, cover with plastic and a clean dish towel and let rise for an hour.
- In a small/medium bowl mix together almond flour, cornstarch, sugar and egg white. Set aside.
- Pre-heat oven to 365F (185C)
- Carefully brush the risen Panettone with the topping (I didn't use it all) top with almonds and sprinkle with icing / powdered sugar. Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes using a toothpick for doneness or the internal temperature, taken in the middle of the bread is 190F / 88C. Immediately move to a wire rack to cool completely before cutting.** Enjoy!
- ** No need to remove from the paper mold just cut through it.** I used an 8.5 x 4.5 inch cake pan, or a 750 gram paper mold.Keeps for 3 days well covered.
Maurita Shollar says
Can I braid this dough and bake in a cake tin? Thank you and Buona Pasqua!
Hi Maurita, the dough is a bit wet, so I don’t think you could braid it and if you add too much extra flour it will be tough. Sorry.
Could you suggest an amount of Sourdough Starter to replace the dry yeast?
Hi Scott, so my calculations would be to use 115 grams of starter (1/2 cup) and 50 grams less of flour and 50 grams less of flour. Everything else is the same. Check out the video and photos to make sure the dough looks the same. You may need to add a bit more flour or water depending. Let me know how it goes. Take care.
Hi Rosemary: I finally had time to make the Panettone. I adjusted the recipe for Sourdough at 115 grams. The dough was very wet. I tried adjusting all measurements to grams. I was not sure if you meant for the flour to be measured by cup and sifted or used as cups of sifted flour. In grams, there is quite a bit of difference. My dough was not able to be worked into a ball due to the high hydration. Nevertheless, I let the dough raise for 6 hours to triple and again in the mold for two hours. My mold was a 750 gram mold. The finished product came out beautifully. I would be happy to send you a picture.
Hi Scott, glad it worked out and you could send me a photo through my contact form it’s located right at the top of the blog. Yes I was talking about grams, and if you click on metric the amounts will change automatically to grams. It’s located right beside “Ingredients”. Looking forward to seeing the photo! Take care and have a great weekend.
Janine T. says
I made this for Christmas Eve breakfast and to have for Christmas, and it was soo delicious and flavorful and an easy recipe to make. Thank you for such great Italian recipes!
Hi Janine, thanks so much, so glad you enjoyed it and the recipes. Take care and Happy New Year!
Maryann Denny says
I made this last week for a pre-Christmas breakfast and it came out wonderful! I did have trouble with the dough rising so I put it in a warm oven and it rose beautifully! I especially like the topping with the almond flour and powdered sugar. AMAZING! Thank you for a great recipe!
Hi Maryann, thanks so much, so glad you enjoyed. My house is on the cool side so I also let dough rise in a warmish oven. Take care and Merry Christmas.
Julia Towson says
Can you use a spring form cake pan for this?
Hi Julia, you mean a cake pan? It’s not really what it is suppose to look like. You need a very tall sided pan for Panettone. 🙂
Good morning! In other recipes I’ve seen for Pannetonne, the instructions say to hang the bread upside down to prevent the bread from falling. Thank you!
Hi Janet, I know but it isn’t necessary with this recipe. 🙂
Do you bake in the “paper” pan? Or do you bake in a metal pan? Thank you
Hi Nancy, yes it is baked right in the paper pan, if you don’t have one that a tall metal pan will work also. Hope that helps.