The Panettone Recipe is a tall, round loaf of sweet bread filled with raisins, citrus, and almonds. It has a soft, buttery texture and is enjoyed during the winter holidays in Italy and beyond.

This delightful treat can be served as a show-stopping Christmas dessert or a special breakfast. Its origins can be traced back to Milan during the Renaissance when wheat was scarce and Panettone was made exclusively for Christmas.

Nowadays, you can find beautifully packaged Panettone in various stores throughout December. However, not all versions are created equal, as some can be overly sweet and artificial in flavor. So, if you’re up for a baking challenge, keep reading!

Yes, making Panettone is a bit of a project that requires two days of preparation. When I first researched how to make it at home, I came across many daunting accounts that almost made me give up. But I refused to let yeast defeat me, my friends! After a few attempts and some shortcuts, I finally achieved a glorious Panettone straight out of the oven.

I’ve put in the effort to perfect this recipe, so you don’t have to. All you need is a little patience for the rising time, and the rest is straightforward!

Panettone Is a Labor of Love

On the first day, start with a preliminary rise of 45 minutes. Then, mix the final dough and place it in the refrigerator. The yeast will do its magic while you get some rest!

On the second day, all you need to do is shape the bread, put it in the mold, and wait for it to rise. And then, it’s time for the oven.

Even though it may not sound like the quickest version, I have made some changes to the traditional baking methods to save time (and energy) when making panettone.

I replaced the biga with a sponge: Instead of using a biga, which takes at least a day to develop flavor like a sourdough starter, I opted for a sponge. The sponge is another type of starter that is ready to use in just 45 minutes. This swap eliminates a whole day and only takes 45 minutes.

Let the dough rise overnight: To make up for the big/sponge shortcut, I let the dough rise slowly overnight in the fridge, which can even be extended to two days. This extended rise in the fridge enhances the flavor of the dough, makes it easier to shape, offers flexibility, and some of the work happens while you sleep. It’s a win-win situation.

Tips for Making Perfect Panettone

Start any time you like during the day or late afternoon that works for you.

  • Measure the flour: If you have a scale, weigh the flour to ensure accuracy. However, if you don’t have one, using a measuring cup is still fine. Just remember to fluff the flour in the canister before spooning it into the cup and leveling it with a knife or scoop. Depending on the brand and moisture content of your flour, you may need to add a few tablespoons more if the dough seems too sticky. Don’t worry, slight adjustments are normal due to variations in flour type and measurements.
  • Get your mise en place ready: Mise en place is a French term that means setting up everything in advance. It’s a great practice for baking, even though I sometimes forget to do it myself and end up rushing. By measuring your ingredients in advance, you won’t get confused when adding them at different stages or forget any important ones.
  • Plan your baking process: For a slightly complex but manageable two-day baking project, I recommend writing down a timeline. This will help you keep track of when to start and each subsequent step, including rising, preheating, and baking times. Having it all on paper will make the process smoother.
  • Day one preparation: On the first day, measure all the ingredients that will go into the dough and place them on a baking sheet. This can be done while the sponge is rising and the fruit is soaking. By doing this, you’ll be well-prepared and the dough-making steps will go much faster.

2-Day Panettone Baking Timeline

Day One:

Prep time: 30 minutes

Rising time: 45 minutes, plus 8 hours (or up to 2 days) of inactive time

  • 9:00 a.m.: Make the sponge (starter) and let it rise for 45 minutes. Prepare and soak the fruit. Meanwhile, prepare the ingredients for mixing the dough (mise en place).
  • 9:45 a.m.: Mix and knead the dough. (20 minutes)
  • 10:00 a.m.: Form the dough into a ball in the bowl, and let it rise in the refrigerator for 8 hours, or up to 2 days.

Day Two:

Prep time: 10 minutes

Rising time: 2 to 3 hours

Bake time: 70 to 75 minutes

  • 9:00 a.m.: Shape the dough into a rectangle, spread it with fruit, form it into a ball, and set it into the mold. (10 minutes)
  • 9:10 a.m.: Let the dough rise (2 to 3 hours)
  • 11:10 -12:25: Bake the panettone (70 to 75 minutes)

The Best Pan for Make Panettone Recipe

A panettone pan is usually a tall, straight-sided mold that is safe to use in the oven. You can find these molds made of either metal or paper, with the latter being the preferred choice in this recipe.

If you’re looking for paper panettone molds, they are affordable and readily available online or at kitchenware stores (it’s a good idea to call ahead to check). These molds come in various shapes and sizes. In my case, I used a 7-inch wide by 4-inch high paper panettone mold from Sur La Table.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a paper mold, you can use an oven-safe pot with similar dimensions, a 10-inch cake pan with 2-inch sides, or a greased 9-inch tube pan. Just remember to place parchment rounds at the bottom of the pans or pot to prevent sticking.

In the case of using metal pans or pots instead of paper molds, make sure to butter and flour the pans and line them with parchment for easy removal.

How to Slice and Serve Panettone

  1. You have the freedom to slice the panettone into either thick or thin wedges, depending on your preference. If you baked it in a paper mold, simply slice right through it.
  2. When it comes to slicing the panettone, the choice is yours – go for thick or thin wedges. And if you baked it in a paper mold, just slice through it without any worries.
  3. Whether you prefer thick or thin wedges, you can slice the panettone however you like. And if it was baked in a paper mold, simply slice right through it.
  4. The way you slice the panettone is completely up to you – whether you prefer thick or thin wedges. And if it was baked in a paper mold, just slice through it without any hesitation.
  5. You have the flexibility to slice the panettone into thick or thin wedges, depending on your taste. And if it was baked in a paper mold, simply slice right through it.
  6. Feel free to slice the panettone into thick or thin wedges, according to your liking. And if it was baked in a paper mold, just slice through it without any trouble.
  7. When it comes to slicing the panettone, the choice is yours – whether you prefer thick or thin wedges. And if it was baked in a paper mold, simply slice right through it without any difficulty.
  8. You can slice the panettone into thick or thin wedges, depending on your preference. And if it was baked in a paper mold, just slice through it without any hassle.
  9. Whether you opt for thick or thin wedges, you can slice the panettone as you please. And if it was baked in a paper mold, simply slice right through it without any complications.
  10. Feel free to slice the panettone into thick or thin wedges, depending on your taste. And if it was baked in a paper mold, just slice through it without any issues.

Storing and Freezing Panettone

After the bread has cooled down completely, make sure to wrap it tightly with foil. The panettone will stay fresh for about five days, although it might become slightly drier after a day or two. Trust me, there won’t be a single crumb left by the end of the first day! If you prefer, you can also wrap it in plastic first and then cover it with foil before freezing it for up to two months.

What to Do With Leftover Panettone

If you happen to have an extra slice left over, why not toast it, spread some butter on it, and enjoy it with a cup of coffee in the morning? And if you have multiple slices, you can get creative by making some delicious French toast or a tasty bread pudding.

FROM THE EDITORS OF RECIPE MAKERS

Making Panettone Without a Stand Mixer

Certainly! It can be done, although it requires some effort (don’t forget to indulge in extra panettone later). Kathleen, one of our readers, has achieved great results by kneading the dough manually. “I don’t own a stand mixer, so I do everything by hand. I allow it to rise for a longer period in the refrigerator (around 12 hours), and then let it rise outside the fridge for a few hours before adding the fruit and shaping it. This method yields a dough that is nicely aerated and easy to handle.”

Troubleshooting Dough That’s Slow to Rise

During the winter, having a chilly kitchen can result in a dough that takes forever to rise. If you’re facing difficulties with your shaped dough not rising within the expected timeframe, why not create your own proofing box in the oven? By setting a moderate heat and creating a high-humidity atmosphere, you can give your sluggish dough a much-needed boost.

Readers’ Tips

Since we published this recipe, dozens of readers have commented to share their tweaks and tips.

  • Parchment collar hack: Melissa baked this in a 7-inch round pan with 3-inch high sides. “You need to make a rim with parchment paper place it on the inside of the cake pan and secure it well. I used staples—has to be heatproof. Basically, you are making the high sides of the paper mold. You can overlap the circle to make it stronger.”
  • Fiori di Sicilia: Dolores used this aromatic Italian flavoring extract in place of the vanilla.
  • Add chips: Jamie L swapped some of the dried fruit for mini chocolate chips.
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Panettone Recipe

Panettone Recipe


  • Author: Jeanine
  • Total Time: 15 hrs 55 min

Description

The Panettone Recipe is a tall, round loaf of sweet bread filled with raisins, citrus, and almonds. It has a soft, buttery texture and is enjoyed during the winter holidays in Italy and beyond. This delightful treat can be served as a show-stopping Christmas dessert or a special breakfast. Its origins can be traced back to Milan during the Renaissance when wheat was scarce and Panettone was made exclusively for Christmas.


Ingredients

Scale

For the dough and sponge:

  • 5 cups (600gall-purpose flour, divided, plus a little more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast (slightly more than 1 packet)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 5 large eggs
  • Finely grated zest from 1 orange
  • 1/3 cup (68gsugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks, 170g) room temperature unsalted butter, to make the dough
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) cold unsalted butter, for the top of the dough
  • Vegetable oil spray (for the dough bowl)

For the fruit and nuts:

  • 1/2 cup dark raisins
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup best-quality candied orange peel, or a combination of 1/4-inch diced dried fruit, such as apricots, pears, cranberries, or dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup dark rum, such as Meyer’s rum
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, optional

Special Equipment

  • Stand mixer
  • 1 7×4-inch high paper panettone mold or 10x2-inch high cake pan

Instructions

Day One: Prep the Dough

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Rising time: 45 minutes for the sponge, plus overnight rise
  1. Make the sponge (starter) and let it rise:

    In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir 1 cup flour and 1 tablespoon instant yeast together until blended. Add the water and mix with a spoon. It should be the consistency of thick cake batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes. The sponge should double in size.

    (If using active dry yeast, place the water in the bowl first, stir in the yeast, and let stand until bubbly, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour.)

    Day One: Prep the Dough

    • Prep time: 30 minutes
    • Rising time: 45 minutes for the sponge, plus overnight rise
    1. Make the sponge (starter) and let it rise:

      In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir 1 cup flour and 1 tablespoon instant yeast together until blended. Add the water and mix with a spoon. It should be the consistency of thick cake batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes. The sponge should double in size.

      (If using active dry yeast, place the water in the bowl first, stir in the yeast, and let stand until bubbly, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour.)

    2. Soak the fruit:

      In a small bowl, stir the dark raisins, golden raisins, candied orange peel, rum, and water together. Cover with a plate and let soak overnight. Measure the almonds and set the measuring cup on top of the plate (so you don’t forget them).

    3. Measure the flour and salt:

      In a bowl, whisk the remaining flour and salt together until blended.

    4. Mix the dough:

      Once the sponge has risen, transfer the bowl to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Set it on medium speed, and add the eggs to the sponge one at a time, until each is incorporated. Continue at medium speed and add the orange zest, sugar, and vanilla.

      Drop the mixer to low speed and gradually add about 2 1/2 cups of the flour mixture and mix for about 2 minutes, or until blended. You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl. The dough should be very soft and stretchy. On low speed, gradually add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour until it is incorporated.

    5. Knead the dough:

      Switch to the dough hook. Knead on low speed for 8 minutes, or until the dough is very smooth and elastic. Stop 2 or 3 times to push down any dough that creeps up on the dough hook.

      With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time, until it is incorporated. Continue to mix with the dough hook for 3 minutes until the dough is silky and shiny.

      If it still seems extremely sticky, gradually add 1 to 4 tablespoons of additional flour. The dough should be very soft and still sticky and will just barely pull away from the sides of the bowl, but not the bottom.

    6. Overnight rise in the refrigerator:

      Keeping the dough in the bowl, pat it into a ball. Spray lightly with vegetable oil spray and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the dough. Refrigerate for 8 hours or up to 2 days.

     

    Day Two: Shape and Bake the Panettone

    • Prep time: 10 minutes
    • Rising time: 2 to 3 hours, or longer if the kitchen is cold
    • Baking time: 70 to 75 minutes
    1. Prepare to finish the dough:

      Place the panettone mold on a baking sheet. Drain the fruit.

      Turn the dough onto a floured workspace and roll it into a flat rectangle that is approximately 12- by 15 inches (you don’t need to be exact). Spread the drained fruit and the almonds evenly over the top. With a rolling pin, roll forcefully over the fruit and nuts to embed them into the dough.

      SIMPLE TIP!

      If you like, save that flavorful fruit-kissed rum for use in other holiday baking. Booze can make a yeasted dough fail to rise, so it’s not added to the dough itself.

    2. Shape the dough:

      Fold the long sides of the fruit-covered dough into thirds (like a letter). You will end up with a rectangle. Then fold the bottom half of the rectangle to meet the top to form a square. Pat the square to a thickness of about 1 1/2 inches. Bring the corners in toward the center to form a ball, and pinch the loose ends together. Cup your hands around the dough to round the ball.

      Place the dough with the seam side down inside the panettone mold. ( I used a 7-inch wide by 4-inch high paper panettone mold from Sur La Table.) Cover with plastic and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the dough reaches the top edge of the mold. This can take longer if the room is cold.

    3. Preheat the oven and score the panettone:

      About 30 minutes before the panettone is ready to be baked, set a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F.

      When the dough has risen, use a sharp, serrated knife to cut a shallow cross from edge to edge. You are scoring the surface, rather than cutting into it deeply. Place the cold pat of butter in the center of the dough.

    4. Bake the panettone:

      Turn the oven down to 325°F. Bake the panettone for 30 minutes. Then place a piece of foil loosely over the top to keep it from browning too much. Continue to bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the dough registers 195°F. (Poke it through the side of the cake, through the paper, so you don’t mar the top). Remove it from the oven, transfer it to a rack, and let cool completely in the paper mold.

Notes

Paper panettone molds are inexpensive and pretty easy to find online or at kitchenware stores (call ahead). They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. I used a 7-inch wide by 4-inch high paper panettone mold from Sur La Table.

Alternatively, for this amount of dough, you could use an oven-safe, straight-sided pot of similar dimensions, a 10-inch cake pan with 2-inch sides, or a greased 9-inch tube pan. Just make sure to put parchment rounds in the bottom of the pans or pot.

  • Prep Time: 40 mins
  • COMBINED RISE: 14 hrs
  • Cook Time: 75 mins
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 12 to 16 servings
  • Calories: 337 kcal
  • Sugar: 17g
  • Sodium: 225mg
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Carbohydrates: 50g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 83mg

Keywords: panettone recipe, panettone, panettone bread

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