Breads & Doughs Panettone Recipe (Italian Christmas Bread) 4.79 from 37 votes Create a Profile! × Sign Up Already have an account? Sign In Jump To Recipe Save Recipe My Panettone Recipe (Italian Christmas Bread) looks just like the loaves you can buy at the store during the holidays, but tastes way, way better! By Gemma Stafford | December 12, 2020 | 125 Last updated on January 4, 2022 This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details. Hi Bold Bakers! If you’ve never had Panettone, or Italian Christmas Bread, before, then I’m willing to bet you’ve at least seen them for sale at bakeries or grocery stores. Their height and iconic look are hard to miss! Originating in Milan, panettone is now a Christmas staple in homes around the world. Unlike fruitcake, which has a reputation for being quite dense and maybe even a bit dry, panettone is an incredibly fluffy, slightly sweet bread full of dried fruits and candied citrus peels. To get that light, fluffy texture, you do have to start this bread the day before you plan on baking in order to make the starter. This is a preferment starter known as BIGA, it is a firm-textured starter that you blend with the other ingredients. You want to give the starter plenty of time to rest, around 8 to 12 hours, so you get a super light panettone! Speaking of holiday sweet bread — have you tried my new Stollen recipe yet? It’s a part of my Bold Baking Holidays Worldwide! You can find the other recipes from around the globe in my Holiday Headquarters. What Is Panettone? Panettone is an Italian yeast-leavened bread usually made with dried fruits and candied citrus peels. I like to use golden raisins, dried apricots, dried cranberries, and candied orange peels. If you like you can soak the dried fruit in a little water or juice and drain it before adding to the dough. The history of panettone is a matter of debate, but it’s believed to have been invented way back during the Roman Empire! Panettone may get its name from “pan del ton,” which translates to “cake of luxury,” but after World War II, the iconic Christmas bread had become cheap enough for more people to afford, and it’s popularity soared. According to Smithsonian.com, Italy produces over 7,100 tons of panettone a year! What You Need To Make Panettone You do some special equipment to make panettone, but if you can’t find them in stores, you’ll be able to find them on Amazon or other online retailers! Paper Panettone Mold Measuring Cups and Spoons Mixing bowls Stand mixer (optional) Panettone pan or a straight-sided, tall 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan How To Make Panettone This Christmas bread does take time, as you need to let the starter rest overnight. This is a firm starter, a Biga, so be sure to start this recipe the day before you plan to bake! Here’s how you make it (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below): To make the starter, combine 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, instant yeast, and 1/3 cup of lukewarm water in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Cover the bowl and all the starter to rest overnight (8 to 12 hours.) The starter sponges a little but will not rise too much. The next day, make the dough by combing all of the dough ingredients, except the dried fruit and zest, and knead them by hand or using a stand mixer until it is a soft, smooth dough. Let the dough rise, covered, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until it’s puffy (but not nec3ssarily doubled in size.) Once puffy, gently deflate the dough and knead in the fruits and citrus zest. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a panettone pan or a straight-sided, tall 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan. Cover the pan and let the dough rise until it just crests over the rim of the pan. This should take about 1 hour. Bake in a preheated 400°F oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375°F and bake for another 10 minutes. Reduce the heat once more to 350°F and bake for 25 to 35 minutes. If the crust is brown too quickly, tent it with aluminum foil. Panettone should be a deep brown when it is done and should sound hollow when tapped. If you have a digital thermometer, stick it into the center of the bread. It should be 190°F. Remove the panettone from the oven and allow to cool completely. Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Panettone Read through the recipe fully before you start. This recipe has to be started the day before to make the starter! I like to use raisins, apricots, candied peel, and cranberries, but feel free to mix it up and add what you have. Make sure your butter and eggs are at room temperature, so they easily blend into the other ingredients. Add in some chopped, bittersweet chocolate for the chocolate lovers out there! How Do I Store Panettone? You can store any leftover panettone at room temperature, well-wrapped, for up to a week. You can also freeze panettone for up to 2 months! Make More Holiday Bread Recipes! Croatian Bishop’s Bread Classic Snowball Cookies Aunty Rosaleen’s Irish Christmas Cake And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook! Full (and printable) recipe below! Try These Recipes! Chocolate Pasta With Chocolate Hazelnut SauceSoft And Fluffy Pumpkin Dinner RollsHomemade Maple Bar DonutsHow to Make Garlic Bread from Scratch Panettone Recipe (Italian Christmas Bread) 4.79 from 37 votes Print Recipe Add to Favorites Loading… My Panettone Recipe (Italian Christmas Bread) looks just like the loaves you can buy at the store during the holidays, but tastes way, way better! Author: Gemma Stafford Servings: 10 people Dessert Fruit Christmas Baking Pans Oven Prep Time 40 minsCook Time 45 mins My Panettone Recipe (Italian Christmas Bread) looks just like the loaves you can buy at the store during the holidays, but tastes way, way better! Author: Gemma Stafford Servings: 10 people Ingredients Starter¾ cup (3 ¾oz/105g) all-purpose flour1/16 teaspoon instant yeast* see note⅓ cup (2 ½ floz/71ml) lukewarm waterDoughadd all of the starter to the bowl (above)2 ¼ cups (11 ¼oz/319g) all-purpose flour¼ cup (2floz/57ml) lukewarm water2 large eggs4 tablespoons (2oz/57g) butter softened½ teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia flavoring OR 1 teaspoon vanilla + 1/8 teaspoon orange oil1 tablespoon instant yeast1 ¼ teaspoons salt⅓ cup (2 ½ oz/71g) granulated sugar½ cup (2 ½oz/71g) golden raisins½ cup (2 ½oz/71g) dried apricots chopped ½ cup (2 ½oz/71g) dried cranberries½ cup (2 ½oz/71g) candied peel 1 tablespoon grated orange rind 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind Instructions The StarterCombine the starter ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl, cover, and allow them to rest overnight (8 to 12 hours).The DoughCombine all of the dough ingredients except the fruit and zest, and mix and knead them together by hand or stand mixer — until you've made a soft, smooth dough.Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until it's puffy (though not necessarily doubled in size).After this time, gently deflate the dough, and knead in the fruits and citrus zest.Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a panettone pan or other straight-sided, tall 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan. Cover the pan and let the dough rise until it's just crested over the rim of the pan, about 1 hour.Bake the bread in a preheated 400°F oven for 10 minutes; reduce the oven heat to 375°F and bake an additional 10 minutes; then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, tenting with aluminum foil if the crust appears to be browning too quickly. Panettone should be a deep brown when done, should sound hollow when tapped, and will read 190°F at the center using a digital thermometer. (It's easy to underbake, since it browns so quickly!)Remove the panettone from the oven and cool completely. Store at room temperature, well-wrapped, for up to a week; freeze for longer storage.*Note: 1/16th of a teaspoon is 1/4 of 1/4 teaspoon. or a large pinch.