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4.81 from 31 votes
Panettone baked and sliced.
Panettone Recipe (Italian Christmas Bread)
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook 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!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 10 people
Author: Gemma Stafford
  • ¾ cup (3 ¾oz/105g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/16 teaspoon instant yeast* see note
  • cup (2 ½ floz/71ml) lukewarm water
  • add all of the starter to the bowl (above)
  • 2 ¼ cups (11 ¼oz/319g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (2floz/57ml) lukewarm water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons (2oz/57g) butter softened
  • ½ teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia flavoring OR 1 teaspoon vanilla + 1/8 teaspoon orange oil
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • cup (2 ½ oz/71g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (2 ½oz/71g) golden raisins
  • ½ cup (2 ½oz/71g) dried apricots chopped
  • ½ cup (2 ½oz/71g) dried cranberries
  • ½ cup (2 ½oz/71g) candied peel
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
The Starter
  1. Combine the starter ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl, cover, and allow them to rest overnight (8 to 12 hours).

The Dough
  1. Combine 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.

  2. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until it's puffy (though not necessarily doubled in size).

  3. After this time, gently deflate the dough, and knead in the fruits and citrus zest.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!)

  6. Remove the panettone from the oven and cool completely. Store at room temperature, well-wrapped, for up to a week; freeze for longer storage.

  7. *Note: 1/16th of a teaspoon is 1/4 of 1/4 teaspoon. or a large pinch.