Homemade panettone: Thinking outside the (blue) box

One of our readers recently commented on our Tuscan coffeecake post, as follows:

“Panettone is a holiday must – it has been part of my husband’s holiday tradition since he was a child. I have tried to make it for the past 4-5 years for the holidays but it never turns out quite right. Often it is too dry. I asked my husband’s aunt in Italy for a recipe. Although she makes just about everything, she said that panettone is the one thing she buys because it is difficult to make correctly. Looking forward to your panettone recipe and any tips you may have! -desperatelyseekingpanettone.”

Dear Desperate: My husband, too, is a panettone fanatic. When those bright blue boxes appear in the supermarket in early December, Rick always tries to sneak one into the shopping cart.

“We don’t need that,” I tell him. “I’ll be making panettone in a couple of weeks.”

His face falls like a little boy who’s just been told to return the box of Monster Choco-Crispy Nuggets breakfast cereal to the shelf. “But, this is the REAL panettone. From Italy. I like the real thing.”

Then I remind him that his non-panettone-loving brother will, without fail, donate to him the “real Italian panettone” he gets every Christmas from his Italian boss.

“Yeah, but still…” He looks longingly at the box. I tug him along to the wine section to take his mind off panettone.

STALE panettone.

Because, let’s face it: that imported Italian panettone isn’t exactly fresh-baked. I mean, how far ahead do you think they bake those cellophane-sealed loaves? Two months? Six? And what exactly do they put in them to make them stay “fresh” on the trip from Italy to an American warehouse to the shelf of, say, Kmart, where they might enjoy an extended stay?

Wanna take a guess? Bet the ingredients list includes more than butter, sugar, eggs, and flour.

And anyway, I’ve always found imported panettone dry. I’ve heard that’s the way it’s supposed to be: better for dunking in your cappuccino that way. But we Americans equate “dry” with “stale,” when it comes to baked goods. The moister the fresher, the fresher the better, that’s our mantra.

And that’s where I come down with panettone. I like a nice, moist loaf. Oh sure, not like a box-mix butter cake, something so sodden it can barely hold itself upright. I mean… just right. Not sawdust-y, not wet, but combining elements of both dry and moist to arrive at a happy medium.

This panettone (she says immodestly) fills the bill.

A tad on the dry side, to satisfy those lovers of “real” Italian panettone and their cups of espresso, this bread is still moist enough to satisfy those of us with more American tastes. And speaking of taste, not for me the sticky citron and bitter dried peel of Italian panettone. Give me golden raisins and apricots and cranberries and pineapple any day. SO not traditional… but yummy. Go the peel route if your audience demands it.

One final note: I bow to Italy’s superior panettone methodology in one respect: Fiori di Sicilia. Literally “flowers of Sicily,” this traditional panettone flavoring combines vanilla and citrus in an aromatic, Creamsicle-like fashion. Just a touch—1/2 teaspoon—in your American-Style Panettone is all you need to give a nod to Italy’s “real” panettone.

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Let’s start with a starter. It’s this overnight starter that helps keep your panettone fresh—not fresh for 6 months, but fresh on the counter, well-wrapped, for probably a week. Plenty long enough, if you have a panettone apprecianado in the house.

Notice that this starter—Italians call it a biga—is much stiffer than the normal starter you’d make with a pinch of yeast, and equal parts flour and water by weight. This one is 3 parts flour to 2 parts water (by weight), and stirs up into an actual dough, rather than a sticky starter.

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Fourteen or so hours later (basically, from late afternoon to early the next morning), the starter has bubbled up and become much softer. That’s the yeast, growing and giving off CO2, alcohol, and organic acids.

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Mix the starter with the remaining dough ingredients, except for the fruit.

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Use your mixer’s beater paddle to bring everything together.

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Then knead with a dough hook. Notice that this is a pretty sticky dough; it won’t quite clear the sides of the bowl on its own.

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About halfway through the kneading time, scrape the dough from the sides of the bowl, and continue to knead.

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After 7 minutes (total), the dough may clear the sides of the bowl. Or it may look like this. Either way, it’s fine.

You can also make this dough in your bread machine set on the dough cycle, of course. Scroll down (WAY down) to see photos.

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Place the kneaded dough into the rising container of your choice. I like this 8-cup measure; it makes it easy to track the dough’s rise.

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Let the dough rise for an hour or so; notice it won’t come anywhere near doubling in bulk. That’s OK. The yeast is gradually finding its footing in this relatively high-sugar, high-fat dough.

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Once the dough has risen, gently deflate it and knead in the dried fruit. I’m using dried cranberries, pineapple, apricot, and golden raisins.

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A mixer equipped with the beater paddle works very well here.

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Round the dough into a ball.

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Hey, what’s with the hole?! I find that baking the panettone in its traditional tall, round shape is problematic. The outside inevitably becomes dry and overly browned before the inside is totally baked. Solution?

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A tube pan. Snuggle that doughnut-shaped panettone right down into a lightly greased tube pan.

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Cover with plastic wrap. Or a throwaway shower cap from a hotel—that’s what I’m using here. I ask all of the traveling folks at King Arthur to bring me back shower caps; they get a good workout in the kitchen. (The caps, not the travelers…)

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About 2 1/2 hours later, the panettone has risen nicely. Yes, it is a slow riser; don’t rush it. Just build it into your schedule, like you used to do with the baby’s nap time.

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Bake the panettone till it’s a light golden brown…

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…then tent it with aluminum foil, and continue to bake till the center registers 190°F on an instant-read thermometer.

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Remove from the oven. While it’s still warm, brush the crust with melted butter; a silicone brush does a gentle, thorough job.  Again, not traditional—but definitely American. From corn-on-the-cob to pancakes to cinnamon bread, what do we NOT like to gild with melted butter?

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Remove the panettone from the pan. If your audience is very traditional, serve sliced, so they don’t see you’ve baked it in—horrors!—a tube pan.

Now, I know everyone will ask—can I bake it in a bundt-style pan? Yes, so long as it’s large enough. A 9” to 10” pan should do the trick. How about baking it in a free-form wreath shape? I believe this dough is stiff enough, with the fruit, to handle that. It’ll spread and flatten a bit rather than rise quite so high. And finally, if you insist on baking it in the traditional round, tall pan, go for it; you’ll need to bake the panettone longer, and tent with foil if it appears to be browning too quickly. Check out our Ginger-Apricot Panettone recipe for baking instructions using a traditional pan.

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Now, for the bread machine method. Put the dough ingredients, including the starter/biga, into the bucket of your machine. Press the start button. Here’s the dough after 5 minutes.

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Here it is fully kneaded, and ready to rise.

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Here it is risen…

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…and ready to knead in the fruit. Just press the start button again, and stop it once the fruit is kneaded in.

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Want to make mini-panettones for gifts? Divide the dough into 10 pieces (about 4 ounces each), and shape each piece into a ball.

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Place the balls in lightly greased mini-panettone paper bakers.

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Let the panettone rise…

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…and bake till golden. The instant-read thermometer will read 190°F (at least; it’s OK if it goes a bit over). By the way, I like my Thermapen, because it really is INSTANT; no waiting around for the temperature to gradually stabilize.

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Brush with melted butter.

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Sweet little minis!

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Feeling fancy? Tie a bow around them, slip into plastic, and hand out to your panettone-loving friends.

Read, bake, rate, and review (please!) our recipe for American-Style Panettone.

Buy vs. Bake

Buy: Imported Bauli panettone (via Amazon), 16-ounce loaf, $12.99; 81¢/ounce

Panera Cranberry-Walnut Panettone, 21-oz. loaf, $7.99; 38¢/ounce

Bake at home: American-Style Panettone, 43-ounce loaf, $7.44; 17¢/ounce

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Katie

    This is wonderful! I got hooked on panettone a few years ago when an Italian physician gave some to the office I worked in. All the recipes I’ve seen before looked WAY too intimidating to try, but this doesn’t look too hard. Something new to add to my post-Thanksgiving baking extravaganza!

    There you go, Katie. Just remember to be patient; it’s a rich dough, and won’t rise quickly. And DO use that overnight starter, it really helps in a number of ways, both keeping qualities, and rise-ability. Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  2. Emilie

    Hi PJ. I loved the shower cap idea when I first read it on this blog. But since I rarely travel, I thought I was out of luck. Then it dawned on me that the caps salons use for coloring hair would probably be identical. And sure enough, they are. Best of all, you can get those in bulk on ebay (and I’m sure also in beauty supply stores) for just a few cents each. So now I’ve got 30 in my baking supply cabinet for whenever I need them. Yipee!

    Good deal, Emilie – thanks for the hint! PJH

    Reply
  3. Sue

    re: Shower Caps

    You can buy them, usually in 3-packs at the dollar store, the elastic stretches out after a few months of use. If the inside get stuck with a bit of dough, just turn them inside out, the dough will dry and fall right off.

    Reply
  4. Chris

    Sue, this looks like a fun recipe & I’ve been thinking of trying panettone for gifts this year, so the mini-loaves are perfect.

    Just a quick question, since the mini-loaves are solid — do they bake for the same length of time as the tube-pan version?

    And I love the tip about shower caps, thanks —

    Chris I would start checking the mini’s at about 20 minutes. They should have an internal temperature of 190* or a bit higher. Mary @ King Arthur Flour.

    Chris, the “tips” on the right-hand side of the recipe tells you how to make the minis, including baking time- PJH

    Reply
  5. Tess

    I like the mini ones — but I don’t have the mini paper molds. Is it possible to make in muffin tins? I have a set of huge muffin tins – would that work? or do I need the high sleve?
    Thanks

    Tess, you could make the panettones to fit your muffin tin – unrisen dough should come about 1/2 to maybe 2/3 up the side of the tin. They’ll just be slant-sided (muffin shaped), rather than straight up and down, but so what, right? Go for it! – PJH

    Reply
  6. Anita

    I’ve been making the Tuscan Coffeecake recipe from the back of the Artisan Flour. It doesn’t have the preferment. On the last catalog I saw the recipe with apricots and ginger so tried that with a preferment.

    It seemed the Tuscan stayed more moist than the ginger apricot panettone. This surprised me since the ginger one had potato flour.

    Any suggestions about the moistness factor?

    I loved both but my husband and friends preferred the Tuscan. I’ll have to make another with cranberries.

    Anita, breads made with a starter (preferment) will stay fresher, longer than straight-dough (non-starter) breads. PJH

    Reply
  7. Anita

    PJH,
    I thought breads made with a “starter” would stay fresh longer, but this was not the case here. That’s why I questioned it. In addition the “starter” had potato flour which should have kept it more moist.

    Hmmm… not sure what happened, then. Bread can be capricious sometimes; it’s as much art as science. Rules of thumb are meant to be broken? :) PJH

    Reply
  8. kathy frazer

    This has nothing to do with this wonderful sounding recipe but I had to tell someone about my discovery. I have been reading several of the archived blogs and keep coming across dryness issues and the importance of measuring flour correctly. I too have had these issues many times and frankly have usually blamed it on the recipe.(sorry KA) Well I just could not let it go so went digging for my scale I use during canning time. Measured flour the way I have for years and would you believe it, one cup weighed 5 oz. then I weighed it (or tried to) the way your instructions show. I must not be a good fluffer because that weighed 4.5oz. Anyway, you experts out there probably already know this but weigh your flour, it is the only way you can be accurate and it does make a difference. I will be purchasing the digtal scale in your catalog as soon as possible as it is smaller than mine and probably even more accurate. Thank you PJ and all the KA group for your wonderful help. This is a great blog.

    So right, Kathy – imagine, you’re adding an extra cup of flour for every 4 cups in the recipe — phew, that’s a lot!!! Take a look at our Tips for Measuring Flour. And remember, not all flour weighs the same; in general, the higher the protein, the more it weighs; so low-protein flours, like pastry flour, weigh less than higher protein flours, like bread flour. Take a look at our Ingredients Weight Chart for weights of some common ingredients. Cheers- PJH

    Reply
  9. Joan

    Hi – This is going to be first attempt at this & I was wondering how far in advance can I make them if I want to give them as a gift for Christmas
    thanks
    joan n

    Joan, best to give them within a day or two (or maybe three). If not possible, try freezing the dough (without fruit) till you’re ready to use it. Let it rise once; then deflate, wrap well, and freeze. Let thaw in the fridge overnight, let warm to room temperature, knead in fruit, and proceed form there. Good luck! PJH

    Reply
  10. Irene Peery

    I have to try this panettone recipe. I love the stuff. I do, however, have a wonderful use for that dry K-mart stuff. It makes the best bread pudding I have ever tasted. I make an egg custard with only 1/4 c. sugar since the bread is sweet and add nutmeg and vanilla. I cut the bread into 1″ slices and layer them in the dish. Sometimes I butter them lightly. The custard goes on and I let it soak 2 hrs. to over night in the refrigerator. Then I bake it as I would any bread pudding. Top this with your favorite topping: bourbon syrup, whipped cream, whatever. It is great. I also wanted to say that I just jazzed up some vanilla instant pudding by adding a bit (carefully) of the Fiore Sicilian. Makes a great filling for cream puffs (don’t let them sit or they get damp) or a layer cake. Thanks for all the great recipes. IMP

    OOOOOHHH, sounds delicious, Irene… PJH

    Reply
  11. Marian Tyson

    While waiting for the panettone baking paper to arrive from KAF, I made this recipe and baked it in an old-fashioned Christmas pudding pan made for steaming (tall with a slender tube) and tented it during the last 10-15 minutes. The bread baked well, just not in the traditional shape. Since then, I searched unsuccessfully for a panettone pan. Thanks for showing the use of the tube pan. This is a delicious bread made with just the chopped dried apricots, as suggested in the KAF catalog.

    Reply
  12. skeptic7

    I’ve rarely had problems with too much flour in a bread, since I just keep adding flour until it feels right. Actually with panettone and other high fat breads I stopped while the dough still feels wet and sticky and then knead it until it is manageable.
    But why have people stopped sifting flour before measuring it? I learned how to do that when I first started baking and I’ve always thought of it as a neccessary step before making cakes or cookies or breads or pies. The only recipe I remember that called for unsifted flour was brownies. I have a nice medium size sifter with a rotating handle, which is constantly on the counter.
    Sifting flour is useful for other purposes than just measuring it. I bought buckwheat flour at a historical mill and found sifting removed the large pieces of bran that had escaped the mill stone.

    Skeptic, usually recipes tell you whether to sift or not sift flour before measuring. Since it makes quite a difference, I’d pay attention to what the recipe says: 2 cups flour,sifted will weigh more than 2 cups sifted flour. That said, it never hurts to sift flour, as it aerates it; it’s just a step most people forego these days. So keep sifting- PJH

    Reply
  13. Cecilia

    How about using my KAF sourdough starter in this recipe?
    Should I let the starter sit on the counter overnight before using?If you use your fresh sourdough starter, in addition to the natural leavening you will also be getting the sourdough flavor. This might not be as appropriate in a fruited “sweet” dough. If you do chose to try this experiment; Yes, build the starter overnight. Frank from KAF.

    Reply
  14. Anna

    I just wanted to say how much I really love this blog (and KA in general). The recipes as well as the overall tone of the writing are professional, yet down to earth. The recipes are top-notch, but you make it all so accessible to the home cook. Well done!

    Thanks, Anna – appreciate your kind words. PJH

    Reply
  15. Jesurgislac

    Fantastic! I love making rich, sweet, fruity, yeast-leavened cakes – but I’ve never tried baking panettone yet. You inspire me to have a go at that this Christmas.

    Have you tried the Tuscan Coffeecake? That’s actually my favorite… Ah, so much baking, so little time-thanks for connecting. PJH

    Reply
  16. Hilary

    Hello! have you seen the no-knead version in GOURMET 12/08? By the same “Bread Happens” baker the NYT made famous with his ultra-easy no-knead bread. I plan to use that recipe in your mini papers this Christmas!

    Great idea, Hilary – that should work just fine. Be sure to grease the papers- PJH

    Reply
  17. Tom Mix

    My biga doesn’t look like yours. It did rise overnight but not as bubbly as the photo in your blog. Mine has a slightly dry crust to it. Should I add more water?

    No, just continue on, Tom. There’s enough yeast in the mix that it should be fine. Did you have it covered overnight? Not sure why it would have gotten a crust; but anyway, carry on, no problem. PJH

    Reply
  18. Tom Mix

    What about dried figs for that more Italian touch. Or do you think the tiny seeds might distract?

    I think dried figs would be fine – just chop them up so they’re not in such big, heavy pieces. Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  19. Tom Mix

    I got an excellent bread that rose high in the pan and even higher in the ovem. However, I have a space between the top (crust) and the bread—maybe about 1/2 inch. I wonder if I let it rise too high before putting it in the over. It was above the top of the pan.

    Yes, a little too much rise, Tom. But it’ll taste just fine. Congratulations, I’ve enjoyed tracking your progess since this morning! PJH

    Reply
  20. Julie

    I tried adding chopped mini semi-sweet chocolate chucks from Whole Foods instead of the dried fruit as my husband and I enjoy the chocolate versions. It turned out OK, but we both agreed that mini MILK-chocolate chips would have tasted better.

    Also, the panettone I am used to eating has more of a liquor taste. I looked up some other recipes and saw they had the fruit soaking in anise or brandy. If I wanted to add this taste to my chocolate version, do you have an idea of how much I could add to the batter.

    My husband also felt that it was a little dry (but my biga wasn’t as moist as yours), would a moister biga or an extra egg yolk help with this.

    Thank you for this recipe – I’ve been looking for one for awhile! Your blog is now at the top of my feed reader!

    YAY for being at the top of your feed-reader! Thanks, Julie. Moister panettone is SO hard to attain… Yeasted goods just aren’t inherently super-moist. Yes, you could try adding another egg. Moister biga won’t make any difference. As for the alcohol, you could try replacing a couple of tablespoons of the liquid. You could also try brushing the oven-hot panettone with liquor; not soaking the crust, just brushing quickly. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  21. Tom Mix

    PJ: You are right. It tastes great. This was a test anyway so looks are not that important. But I plan to give some as gifts come Christmas time. What do you recommend re rising in pan? Up to within about 1″ of the lip? Also it would appear that tenting with foil in the final ten minutes or so is essential.

    Tom, depends what pan you’re using. Yes, with the tube pan I used, it rose to within 1″ of lip. The risen dough shouldn’t feel at all fragile or Jell-O-like; it should be puffy, but still sturdy. Does that help? PJH

    Reply
  22. Judith Grosso

    I love the KA website and all of your recipes. I am going to try baking the American-style panettone and was wondering if I could bake small ones in a mini size angel food cake pan that I have (pans are about 3 inches deep and about 21/2 to 3 inches across). Thanks for all of the help your blog offers.

    Sure, Judith, go for it. Fill the pans about half full; let them get puffy (maybe up to the rim?); and bake till about 190°F at the center. PJH

    Reply
  23. Pam Harris

    I am sitting here catching up on my favorite blogs and couldn’t believe this post. I just posted a few days ago about this very Panettoni recipe. I bake it every year. I wish I had been more diligent in keeping up with my blogs. But I have a “catching-up” post coming up in a few days and will include it then.
    I don’t know how I ever got along before I found King Arthur Flour. Love the blog by the way. Thank you for the effort and time you put in to sharing with all of us.

    Pam, love your blog, too. The pictures are WONDERFUL. I’m certainly in the mood for St. Nick after scrolling down through, plus need to go make some cookies… Thanks for connecting. PJH

    Reply
  24. Carolyn T at tastingspoons.com

    PJ – thanks so much for sharing the panettone recipe. I’d never thought I could perfect that dough, but you gave me the confidence to try it. The tube pan worked to perfection! I put crystallized ginger, apricots (soaked in rum, even though I know soaking’s not traditional), golden raisins, chocolate chips and chopped walnuts in mine. Took a bit longer to rise, but oh-so-delicious. I wrote it up on my blog on Dec. 5th at http://www.tastingspoons.com (giving baker’s banter all the credit, of course) if you’d like to see mine. Thanks so much for the BB blog – I enjoy all the posts so much. Merry Christmas to everyone at KAF.

    Carolyn, loved your blog entry on this. And your selection of fruits/nuts (does chocolate count as a fruit? OF COURSE!) And Merry Christmas to you, too – PJH

    Reply
  25. Julie

    Tried version two this weekend. Added 1 Tbs. of Brandy and 1 Tbs. of Triple Sec – gave the dough the perfect “sharp” taste I was looking for. Chopped up some Cadbery milk chocolate bars for mini-chocolate chips. Added a nice Chocolate “stripe” to it, but the Milk chocolate melted faster than the semi-sweet. This leads me to another question – would I mess it up to much if I were to let it go through the first rise, and then put it in the fridge to bring down the temperature, then take it out, put in the chocolate chips once it is cool enough to not melt them, and then bring it back up to warm and shape it from there and let it go through the final rise? Would there be a time that would be too long to leave it in the fridge? For example if I made the starter one day, let it cool in the fridge the next, and did the final rise and bake on day three? Also, does the liquor interfere with the yeast rising? I didn’t notice a big change in volume, but still wondered.

    Thanks for all the help. One thing I forgot to mention in my previous post is that this blog has lead me to only purchase your products. When I know that you take so much pride is protein content, etc. it is what I want to bake with!

    Thanks for your kind words, Julie. Your “double chocolate” panettone sounds delicious. Should be no problem chilling the dough; it will actually help its flavor, up to a point. I wouldn’t chill longer than 48 hours, and even that might be pushing it; the milk, butter, and eggs start to go a little “off” after awhile. And alcohol won’t slow the rise – again, unless you use too much, and then it’s not really the alcohol slowing the yeast, it’s the sugar. 2 tablespoons alcohol should be fine. Enjoy -PJH

    Reply
  26. Judith Grosso

    I made the “American style” panettone in the mini angel food cake pans and they were wonderful. We loved having this treat without all of the candied fruit “stuff”. I think I’ll make them again, but use a different combination of fruits (used dried cranberries, cherries, apricots, and pineapple this time). Thanks for all of your great recipes.

    Another great idea, Judith, mini angel pans… thanks for the inspiration! – PJH

    Reply
  27. Ted

    PJ — I made this just yesterday, and it turned out great. Now to modify. Note that yeast and I are not the best of friends (working on it) so forgive me if I don’t know what I’m doing here. There is not a LOT of sugar here, but being mildly diabetic, I try and get as much out of the way as possible. Any thoughts as to what might happen to this were I to replace the sugar with Splenda granular? I know the volume will diminish somewhat (I usually add a little extra flour to make up for it), but in the blog you mention that the sugar content retards the yeast growth, so with that sugar gone, would I need to reduce the yeast? Or just reduce the rise times? Any help you could offer would be appreciated!

    Ted, I think you could just plain use Splenda for Baking without making any changes; don’t reduce the yeast. Sugar doesn’t affect yeast dough’s texture; it keeps it a bit fresher, but so long as you understand this might dry out more quickly, I say go ahead and try the Splenda. PJH

    Reply
  28. Becky in NY

    I will be trying this wonderful recipe for Panettone tomorrow and couldn’t find the Fiori De Sicilia at my local Italian store. They did, however, recommend La Torinese Milli Fioro. Have you ever used this? If so, how different is it from the Fiori De Sicilia?

    Many thanks for a great post!!!

    You’re welcome, Becky. Fiori di Sicilia is an exclusive product for us, so you wouldn’t fine it elsewhere. But if your Italian store says Milli Fioro (fiori?) is a good substitute, I’m sure it is; I’ve never heard of it, so wouldn’t know substitution advice. In general, I’d say add less, because you can always add more (to taste.) PJH

    Reply
  29. Becky in NY

    Hi: I just found out my husband has diabetes. Is there a way to make this a diabetic version. I know that’s asking a lot….any suggestions would be appreciated very much. Thanks!

    Try Splenda for Baking in the dough – as for the fruits, not sure where you can go with them, sorry… maybe you do? Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  30. Connie

    I am attempting my first panettone from your recipe. Do I have to cover the biga overnight and what is considered room temp. My kitchen is pretty chiily. Should I put it down in the basement? Thanks!

    Yes, cover the biga. And your biga would be happiest at around 68°F, but if it’s colder than that, just let it rise longer. The cooler the area, the longer the rise. It should just look nice and bubbly and expanded when it’s ready, no matter how long that takes. You can also choose to use more yeast, say 1/8 teaspoon; that’ll speed it up in a cold area. Good luck with your first panettone, Connie – PJH

    Reply
  31. Connie

    Good Afternoon,
    Had some problems with my biga, but I will make first attempt anyway. (I am preparing a new one and it already looks much better). I am using a bread machine for this first one and when do I put the fruit in, when the machine calls for it or after the dough is all kneaded? Thanks!

    Hi Connie – put the fruit in after the dough cycle is complete – that is, after it’s risen. If you want to use the bread machine to knead the fruit in, just re-start the dough cycle, and let it knead till the fruit is incorporated. PJH

    Reply
  32. Connie

    Thanks, next question….I am baking the traditional way, so do I butter the paper mold before I put the dough in for the final rise and do I put the paper mold in a pan?
    Thanks Again!

    Yes, Connie, grease the paper mold (non-stick vegetable oil spray is better than butter), but no need to put it into an additional pan. PJH

    Reply
  33. Daphne

    Panettone is a Christmas tradition in our family (we always have it for breakfast) so I was thrilled to find this recipe. I’ve already made three, for us and also for friends. I’m still figuring out the biga, but it’s definitely improving, and everyone has liked the finished panettone so far! For mixing, I use my big Bosch with a dough hook. And for the fruit, I put together a mix of currants, dried cranberries, chopped apricots, and golden raisins. This will make a special holiday breakfast and I thank you for the excellent instructions and clear, helpful pictures.

    Glad it’s working well for you, Daphne. Keep experimenting – the journey is just as important as the destination. Cheers – PJH

    Reply
  34. Tyler

    This recipe was a blast to make (we’ll see how it turns out as it’s baking right now, fingers crossed). I had to make two separate attempts at the biga since I wasn’t too confident with the first…until I saw the second. I went the bread machine route since I don’t have a big mixer yet, though my wife has it on her Christmas wish list, and it was on our wedding registry, and every birthday wish list.
    My only concern was using the pre-packaged fruit cake fruit mix since it seemed a little sticky and heavy in the water and sugar content. The dough did rise very well though. Could this be a problem?

    Interesting the fruitcake blend was heavy and sticky. It should be pretty dry and free-flowing. Did you get it from us and was it “our favorite fruit blend” item 1482? Because if so, I’d like to know so I can check it out in the warehouse… Hey, so long as the panettone rose, though, you’re all set. ENJOY! – PJH

    Reply
  35. Jonathan

    I saw this recipe and wanted to try it for the holidays. The first time I tried it, I didn’t have the right pan – used a smallish bundt pan and the dough rose way up over the top so there was no more hole in the middle. It looked ugly, but tasted great. I used a tube pan on the second try and the loaf came out perfect. Even though the recipe calls for 2-hour rising time, mine rose much faster, so it helps to check often. I was very successful in using my bread machine for combining all the ingredients up to the mixing in of the fruit. I found this pretty easy to do by hand. I soaked my dried fruit in a bit of limoncello overnight and then dusted with flour before mixing in. I also put a light lemon glaze on top to decorate the loaf.

    Jonathan, like the Limoncello idea, and the glaze – thanks! PJH

    Reply
  36. Tyler

    PJ, No I wish I had used KA’s fruit cake blend, it looked so much more edible than what I had used. But time was short and there was no way it could have gotten to us in time, so I used the local grocer’s brand fruit cake mix. Thankfully it turned out OK and was a hit at the family Christmas get together. I couldn’t have done it without all the great photos and easy to follow instructions. Thanks!
    P.S. – we got that standup mixer today, now to find a suitable recipe!

    Great, Tyler, glad it worked out for you -PJH

    Reply
  37. Umbriago

    I really appreciated all the comments and the Pannetone looks much
    nicer than my breadmachine recipe. But, I’ve looked up and down this
    page and for the life of me couldn’t find your recipe. What did I miss?

    Hi – Click on the recipe at the very end of the photos. Or click on it here. Enjoy! – PJH

    Reply
  38. Vladimir

    Great recipe. I noticed your dried fruit blend contains sulfur dioxide; does it inhibit yeast growth? I’m pretty sure potassium sorbate does, as far as preservatives go.

    Nah, it’s fine. Plus you knead it in after the first rise, which gives the yeast a good chance to get going anyway… If you have problems with sulfured fruits, though, we also offer unsulfured; individually, not blended. PJH

    Reply
  39. angela

    Gooday

    Just wondering how long this beautigul bread last and how to store it? Also how many months ahead can I make it?\

    Thanks

    Hi Angela – This isn’t the kind of panettone that lasts for months. Like most breads, it’ll stay nice and fresh at room temperature for several days, and will then start to become stale. Keep it tightly wrapped in a plastic bag; don’t refrigerate. And enjoy it toasted once it starts to get stale. For long-term storage, wrap and freeze – it should be OK for a couple of months in the freezer. PJH

    Reply
  40. sandylee6

    I have your standard panettone paper pans, I would like to use them here and give this as 2 gifts – would this be enough for two paper pans?? and would the cook time be about the same??

    Thanks in advance, I adore your products and this blog.

    Hi – It takes a recipe with about 3 cups of flour to fill one of the paper pans; this recipe has 4 cups of flour. So you could increase the recipe by half, and it would fill two pans. Hope this helps – PJH

    Reply
  41. pjl110

    Just made 2 batches and they both came out fine – one in a tube pan and the other in the small panettone cups…cute as the dickens.

    My question is how does one accurately measure 1/16th of a teaspoon as called for in making the starter? I guesstimated but would sure like to know how most folks do that.

    Nice! Thanks for sharing your success here. It’s not really necessary to measure 1/16 teaspoon of yeast all that accurately for this recipe. I eyeball half of a 1/8 teaspoon measure, but a pinch should be just as good – PJH

    Reply
  42. pjl110

    Thanks, PJ…made a third batch today (I’m just a glutton for punishment) and they came out perfect! I am SO stoked! My DH is beside himself with joy. The little papers I bought from KAF are perfect for the mini-panettones as is the dried fruit mix!

    Awesome! There’s nothing like successfully baking a Christmas classic, AND having your family like it. Buon natale! PJH

    Reply
  43. joe sunderland,,,UK

    I made a panattone in a russell hobs bread machine last year using there recipe from the book on the 4hr raisin bake setting using easy bake dried yeast,it turned out very good but when the raisin bleep went and the goods fell into the mix the trapdoor melted onto the cake,so have swopped it for a large panasonic mc will try that and the oven as well but dont think they will turn out like the three mari italian ones i have had in the past,even the boxes are a work of art,tried the starters and sourdough methods but failed on both counts but will soldier on lol,,joe sunderland
    Good luck Joe! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  44. EK Sommer

    Loved this post!! I was looking for a suggestion for baking Panettone without the requisite pan, which I do not have. I do have an angel food cake pan. But I have to agree with your husband–I actually like the bread “old”–something about the way the flavors blend after it has been sitting around for a while–so long as the oils have not gone rancid, though! Thanks for the good instructions.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      You’re welcome – I hope you enjoy your panettone this year. I was just thinking, when it “matures,” I might make a bread pudding out of it… :) PJH

  45. Paul Ferrario

    This version looks really good. My family is Milanese. They came to this country in the early 1910′s, and with them the Panetonne family tradition. Each subsequent generation had at least 3 people who would supply Panetonne at Christmas and Easter to the extended family.The final baker was my great Zia Millie. She passed away at age 95 in 1990. I am the keeper of the recipe. I try to bake 3 or 4 batches each Christmas season. Our recipe is very similar to the “no biga” recipe that is posted on this site. Most Italian home cooks here in the states would have baked these on the cheap. I can only imagine Millie’s face if she saw me spending good money on something frivolous (in her mind) like Fiori di Sicilia. To save money, they went light on the candied fruits as well and we all used pignoli from the huge pine tree on our cousin’s property. I am going to try your recipe above this year, and I am sure it will be lovely. I just find it funny sometimes how some of the basic foods from my childhood are now considered to be almost at the gourmet level.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Thank you so much for sharing your great memories Paul. I swoon at the thought of fresh pignoli nuts. ~ MJ

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