Panettone is a type of sweet bread originally from Milan, Italy which is enjoyed during Christmas. It is a very rich bread which has a few cake-like qualities. This is why Panettone is sometimes referred to as King Cake. Like other rich Christmas type breads such as the German Stollen (Recipe here), panettone is filled with dried fruits and citrus peels. The taste is buttery and intense and the texture light and “pillowy”. I will be the first to confess that this is not an easy bread to make. Even I struggle a bit when making Panettone. The saying that “good bread takes time” is very true with Panettone. Having said that, the taste is quite rewarding. There is simply nothing like homemade Panettone. I have tried several recipes in the past and this one by Bruno Albouze has worked best for me.
The ingredients are given in grams. I will try to give estimate equivalents in cups and spoons where I can.
Makes 3 Loaves
(1) 150 ml Room Temperature Water (A little over 2/3 cup)
(2) 4 Grams Active Dry Yeast (About 3/4 Teaspoon)
(3) 1 Teaspoon Salt
(4) 200 Grams All Purpose Flour (About 1-1/2 Cups)
(1) 240 Grams Raisins (About 1-2/3 Cups)
(2) 360 Grams Orange and Lemon Mixed Peel
(3) The Zest of 1 Orange
(4) The Zest of 1 Lemon
(5) 1/3 Cup Dark Rum
(1) 30 Grams Active Dry Yeast (2 Tablespoons + 1 Teaspoon)
(2) 1 Cup Warm Milk
(3) 12 Egg Yolks
(4) 700 Grams All Purpose Flour (A little under 5-1/5 cups)
(5) 190 Grams Granulated White Sugar (A little under a cup)
(6) 1 Tablespoon Salt
(7) 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
(8) 300 Grams Unsalted Butter (A little over 1-1/4 cups) (Soft)
(1) Panettone is traditionally baked in paper molds which measure 6.75 inch by 4.25 inch high. These molds can be purchased online. I am however using 7 inch round springform baking pans which are 3 inches high. If using baking pans, grease them and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper. The parchment paper should tower about an inch above the sides of the baking pans. Panettone can also be baked in any other baking pans of your choice, larger or smaller than the size of the traditional molds, so do not feel obligated to stick to tradition. Taste and texture is king!
(2) Note that you will need to start the process for making this bread at least 2 days in advance. On the first day, you make the starter and soak the fruits. The second day, you bake the breads, wrap and keep until the third day when you can enjoy it. Keeping it overnight before consuming enriches the taste.
This should be done the day before making dough. The starter mimics sourdough used in baking artisan breads
(1) Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer attached with the dough hook. Knead at low speed for 2 minutes. Crank the speed up to medium-high and knead for 5 minutes.
(2) Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with cling film and allow to rise for 3 hours.
(3) After 3 hours, deflate the dough, put it back in the bowl and keep in the fridge overnight or for at least 10 hours.
(4) 2 hours before making the panettone dough, take the starter out of the fridge.
(1) Place the mixed peels, raisins, zests and rum in a bowl and mix. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.
(1) Warm 1/4 cup of the milk and mix it with the yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes.
(2) In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the flour, sugar and salt. Mix to combine.
(3) Add the activated yeast, egg yolks, remaining milk and vanilla extract and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Switch to the dough hook and knead for 5 minutes.
(4) Add the starter and knead on medium speed for 10 minutes.
(5) Add the soft butter and knead on medium speed for another 10 minutes or until completely smooth.
(6) Add the marinated fruits and knead until combined.
(7) Place the dough in a large bowl, cover with cling film and leave the dough to rise for 3 hours or until the dough has tripled in size.
(8) While the dough is rising, prepare your baking molds or cake pans.
(9) Deflate the dough and divide into 3 equal parts of about 800 grams each.
(10) Shape each part into balls and place in the prepared cake pans or molds. Leave the dough to proof for another 2 hours or until double in size.
Baking and Storing:
(1) 30 minutes before end of second proofing, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
(2) Cut an X shape in the middle of each risen dough (using scissors or a sharp blade) and place a chunk of butter in the middle of each X.
(3) Bake the loaves in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
(4) If using molds, pass wooden skewers through the bottom of each loaf and invert it over a deep bowl (like your mixing bowl). This will prevent the loaves from sinking. If you used a spring form pan, remove the loaves from the pan, insert the skewers and invert. Leave the loaves this way until they are completely cool.
(5) Wrap the loaves in cling film and foil paper and set in a cool dark place for 1 to 2 days before eating.
(1) Stollen. Recipe here
(2) Fruitcakes. Recipes here