Saturday, 29 December 2012

Traditional Panettone ~ The December 2012 Daring Bakers’ challenge

Panettone, a traditional Italian Christmas bread was this month’s Daring Bakers Challenge… Last month I missed the Daring Bakers challenge and I somehow wanted to do this month’s and finally I managed to make it yesterday… It’s a time consuming bread and only attempt it when you don’t have much work to do…. it need several ‘rising’ and I started making this in the morning and ended up finishing it in the evening!... Please don’t panic seeing the long recipe, several rising or the amount of time consumed… It’s definitely worth the effort :)...  I did all the kneading work in my Kitchen Aid, also I soaked the fruits in rum and I only made half the recipe and baked in a 6” cake pan…

So how was the Panettone born? Traditionally it is eaten by the Milanese but now it is available all through Italy and in many parts of the world. There are many stories and legends of the Panettone but the one recounted by Carol Field, whose recipe I have favoured, is that of a rich young Milanese noble who fell in love with the daughter of a poor baker whose name was Tony (Antonio). The nobleman wanted to marry the baker’s daughter so he ensured the baker had at his disposal the very best ingredients – eggs, butter, flour, candied orange peel, citron and sultanas. The baker created a wonderful bread which became known as pan di Tonio (Tony’s bread). The baker found his fame and fortune and the nobleman honorably married the baker’s daughter.

The December 2012 DaringBakers’ challenge was hosted by the talented Marcellina of Marcellina in Cucina. Marcellina challenged us to create our own custom Panettone, a traditional Italian holiday bread!

Traditinal Panettone
Preparation time:
35 minutes
First Dough
mixing 15-20 minutes
rising time 1 -1 ¼ hours
Second dough
mixing 15-20 minutes
Rising time 2 ½ - 4 hours or overnight in a cool place
Final dough and rise
preparing and mixing 1 hour
rising 2-4 hours
Baking 40 minutes
Cooling 30 minutes
Makes 2 Panettoni

1 satchel (2¼ teaspoons) (7 gm) active dry yeast
1/3 cup (80 ml) warm water
½ cup (70 gm) unbleached all purpose flour
First Dough
1 satchel (2¼ teaspoons) (7 gm) active dry yeast
3 tablespoons (45 ml) warm water
2 large eggs, at room temp
1¼ cup (175 gm) unbleached all-purpose (plain) flour
¼ cup (55 gm) (2 oz) sugar
½ cup (1 stick) (115 gm) unsalted butter, at room temp
Second dough
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
2/3 cup (150 gm) (5-2/3 oz) sugar
3 tablespoons (45 ml) honey
1 tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla extract
1 teaspoon (5 ml) lemon essence/extract
1 teaspoon (5 ml) orange essence/extract
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt
1 cup (2 sticks) (225 gm) unsalted butter, at room temp
3 cups (420 gm) (15 oz) unbleached all-purpose (plain) flour; plus up to (2/3 cup) 100 gm for kneading
Filling and final dough
1½ cups (250 gm) (9 oz) golden raisins or golden sultanas
½ cup (75 gm) (2-2/3 oz) candied citron ( I didn’t have this so I made it up with candied orange peel)
½ cup (75 gm) (2-2/3 oz) candied orange peel (try making your own; recipe below)
Grated zest of 1 orange
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 to 3 tablespoons (30-45 ml) (15-25 gm) unbleached all-purpose (plain) flour

  • Mix the yeast and water in a small bowl and allow to stand until creamy. That’s about 10 minutes or so.
  • Mix in the flour.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and allow to double in size for about 20 to 30 minutes
First Dough
  • In the mixer bowl, mix together the yeast and water and allow to stand until creamy. Again, about 10 minutes or so
  • With the paddle attached mix in the sponge, eggs, flour, and sugar.
  • Add in the butter and mix for 3 minutes until the dough is smooth and even.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and allow double in size, about 1 – 1 ¼ hours

Second dough
  • With the paddle mix in thoroughly the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, honey, vanilla, essences/extracts, and salt.
  • Mix in the butter until smooth.
  • Add the flour and slowly incorporate.
  • At this stage the dough will seem a little too soft, like cookie dough.
  • Replace the paddle with the dough hook and knead for about 2 minutes.
  • Turn out the dough and knead it on a well-floured surface until it sort of holds its shape.
  • Don’t knead in too much flour but you may need as much as 2/3 cup (100 gm). Be careful the excess flour will affect the finished product.

First Rise
  • Oil a large bowl lightly, plop in your dough and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Now we need to let it rise until it has tripled in size. There are two ways to go about this.
  • Rise in a warm place for 2 – 4 hours
  • Or find a cool spot (64°F -68°F) (18°C – 20°C) and rise overnight
  • Or rise for 2 hours on your kitchen bench then slow the rise down and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  • If you do this it will take some time to wake up the next morning but I preferred this method.

Filling and Final Rise
  • Soak the raisin/sultanas in water 30 minutes before the end of the first rise. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Now take your dough and cut it in half. Remember we are making two panettoni.
  • Combine all your filling ingredients and mix well
  • Press out one portion of dough into an oval shape
  • Sprinkle over one quarter of the filling and roll up the dough into a log
  • Press out again into an oval shape and sprinkle over another quarter of the filling
  • Roll into a log shape again.
  • Repeat with the second portion of dough
  • Shape each into a ball and slip into your prepared pans, panettone papers or homemade panettone papers.
  • Cut an X into the top of each panettone and allow to double in size.
  • Rising time will vary according to method of first rise. If it has been in the refrigerator it could take 4 hours or more. If it has been rising on the kitchen bench in a warm place it should be doubled in about 2 hours.


  • When you think your dough has only about 30 minutes left to rise preheat your oven to moderately hot 400°F/200°C/gas mark 6 and adjust your oven racks.
  • Just before baking carefully (don’t deflate it!) cut the X into the dough again and place in a knob (a nut) of butter.
  • Place your panettoni in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 and bake for another 10 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat again to moderate 325°F/160°C/gas mark 3 and bake for 30 minutes until the tops are well browned and a skewer inserted into the panettone comes out clean.
  • Cooling your panettone is also important. If you have use papers (commercial or homemade) lie your panettoni on their side cushioned with rolled up towels. Turn gently as they cool. If you have used pans cool in the pans for 30 minutes then remove and cushion with towels as above.
  • To Glaze the Panettoni, I mixed ½ cup of powdered sugar with ¼ tsp vanilla essence,2/3 drops of almond essence and 1 tbsp of milk and mix well. Pour the glaze evenly over the cooled bread, letting some drip over the sides. Wait for some time till it sets.
  • Additional Information: Video on making Panettone

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  1. Compliments of the Season..Love the look of your blog. The recipe looks amazing. Keep it up!!

  2. The panettone looks awesome Swapna, love the crumb!

  3. OMG. This seriously demands lot of effort and time! Well done, swapna :)..Kudos to your patience!!

  4. dr which type oven i should buy one tell

  5. swpana dr .......i want to tell you a gud ingredient asparagus satavari,royal vegitable edible ivory ennokaya ariunai njan atu vechu payasam undaki .thats gud i even made its root cooked in sugar added pista flavour and add with pista icecream .............thanku my guru

  6. Your panettone is perfect and presentation is beautiful!

  7. You have done seriously prefectly Swapna, never thought that panettone have this much long process.

  8. This looks beautiful - really lovely and festive. The glaze finishes it off in a very delicious way :-)

  9. Perfectly done panettone. Looks gorgeous and Yummy! Wishing you and family a happy, prosperous and blessed New year.

  10. Hi Swapna ! :) Thanks for your participation in DMBLGiT January 2013. Your photo has been uploaded to the gallery and I'm wishing you good luck !


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