Classic Panettone for an American Kitchen

Open crumb, chewy texture, and a sweet buttery taste—that is the challenge of panettone. It requires a little more time and attention than most baked goods, but the result is delicious. Come and learn how to make our amazing panettone recipe today.

Starter–prepare the night before (30 mins)

  • ¼ cup sourdough starter (homemade) or
  • 1 pkt commercially-made sourdough starter
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ cup water (bottled water with no chlorine if possible)

In a small mixing bowl, combine starter, flour and water. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let the mixture stay at room temperature overnight. The lievito madre (sourdough starter) adds to the texture and taste.

Dried fruit—prepare the night before (30 mins) NOTE: all amounts of fruit are approximate—use what you have on hand

  • ½ cups raisins, brown
  • ½ cups raisins, golden
  • ½ cup finely diced dried apricots (about the size of raisins)
  • ½ cup orange juice, water, liqueur or other liquid

Combine fruit in bowl and allow to soak overnight. Reserve the softened fruits to be folded into the panettone dough (drain off extra liquid).

Panettone Dough (about 7 hours total)

  • ¼ cup warm water (105F) 1 pkt active yeast or 2 tsp active yeast
  • Prepared starter (from the night before)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ Tbs vanilla
  • Grated zest of 2 oranges (about 1 Tbs)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2½ to 3 cups flour (all purpose or bread flour)
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup (about) of soaked dried fruit mixture, drained
  • ½ cup candied orange peel (homemade is best), diced
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup almonds
  • ½ cup hazelnuts

Phase One: Mixing and First Rise (3 hours)
Prepare panettone mold—either a paper mold or an
8” cake pan with extended sides (using parchment or
foil). Butter sides and bottom.

In stand mixer bowl, combine yeast and warm water.
Stir in the prepared starter you made the night
before. Allow to proof for 10 mins. It should be foamy.
Stir in eggs, yolks, sugar, vanilla, salt, and zest. It will
smell marvelous.

Stir in the 2½ cups flour and set mixer on slow speed
to begin mixing. Scrape down sides as needed. Mix
until well blended and stretchy, about 10 mins. Dough
will be sticky. Add butter and continue kneading on
low speed for another few mins., until dough is glossy
and smooth.

Scrape out on to work surface and pat out flat. The
dough will be surprisingly wet compared to typical
bread dough. If mixture seems too sticky to work
with, add more flour about a tablespoon at a time, up
to ½ cup (but don’t let dough get thick, stiff, and dry).
Getting just the right texture is where your artisan
bread skills are put to the test.

Sprinkle dried fruits, citrus peel, and nuts over the
dough. Fold the dough over the top of the fruit and
nut. Gently knead briefly until ingredients are evenly
combined. Dough will be lumpy and soft.

Place dough in an oiled bowl, flip it to get oil on all
sides. Cover bowl with kitchen towel and let dough
rise for 2-3 hours. It should almost triple in size, so
chose a large enough bowl.

Phase Two: Shaping and Second Rise (3 hours)
Gently punch down dough. Shape dough by lightly
working with until it forms a smooth ball. Place dough
into a prepared paper mold or 8” cake pan. Place on a
baking sheet.
Rise for about 2 hours until double. About 30 mins
before completing the final rise, preheat oven to
350F. When ready to bake (about double in size),
slash an “X” on the top of the loaf with a sharp knife.
If you want a glossy finish, brush with an egg yolk and
cream mixture (1 Tbs cream plus 1 yolk). Sprinkle with
sugar crystals for a traditional look.

Phase Three: Baking and Cooling (1 hour)
Bake for about 40 mins in a 350F oven or until golden
brown and cooked through. Touch the top of the loaf.
It should be springy. Test it with a skewer for

Once done, remove your panettone from the oven
and pierce the bottom with two skewers all the way
through and hang it upside down between two sturdy
objects of the same height (like cannisters) as it cools.
You can only so this if you have baked your panettone
in a paper mold. This keeps your warm loaf of
panettone from collapsing. If you baked it in a cake
pan, allow it to cool on the stove top so it cools slowly
and is less likely to deflate.

The aroma of freshly baked panettone will fill your
kitchen with joy!

Yield: 1 large panettone (about 2 lbs)

NOTE Leftover Pannettone: If you have any
panettone left over, it makes the world’s best French
Toast or Bread Pudding. Not one morsel goes to

NOTE Saving Your Panettone for Later: You can
carefully wrap and freeze a panettone once it’s
properly cooled. But don’t let it get knocked around.
Defrost slowly at room temperature. Eat it that day or
turn it into French Toast (see above).

NOTE Slicing Your Panettone: Once cooled, you can
slice it into wedges or into slices. It will go further if
you slice it. Be sure to use a very sharp serrated knife.

NOTE Panettone Molds: They are made of paper and
you can purchase them at kitchen supply shops or
online. But if you want to get started right away, you
can still achieve a good result by creating a paper
sleeve from parchment paper you tape together. The
mold is what creates the high rise of the panettone.

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2 Replies to “Classic Panettone for an American Kitchen”

  1. I love Panettone but I’m to lazy to do it. Luckly for me, during CHristmas and Easter we can buy it…actually everywhere.
    But otherwise, your recipe seems to be very easy. Maby I will try do to it, next Christmas 😛

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