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Panettone Recipe - A sweet Italian bread, traditionally enjoyed during Christmas. Rich, buttery bread, light in texture and studded with a mixture of dried fruit.
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5 from 3 votes

Panettone Recipe

Panettone Recipe - A sweet Italian bread, traditionally enjoyed during Christmas. Rich, buttery bread, light in texture and studded with a mixture of dried fruit.
Prep Time1 d 8 hrs
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 d 8 hrs 45 mins
Course: Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: bread, christmas, italian, panettone
Servings: 15
Calories: 261kcal
Author: DSTR


For the Starter

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon dry active yeast (a pinch)

For the Dough

  • 1/4 cup water warm
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest freshly grated
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest freshly grated
  • all the starter from above
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened

For the Fruit

  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup dark raisins
  • 1/3 cup candied orange peel
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier)

For the Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water

A dab of butter for the top just before baking


    The Starter (day one)

    • Mix 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup water (or a little more the make the starter thick and somewhat wet but not like a dough consistency), and 1/8 teaspoon yeast in a medium-size bowl. 
      Cover and let rise overnight.

    The Dough (day two)

    • Measure the flour properly (spoon and swoop) into a medium-size bowl. Whisk the salt into the flour and set aside.
      In the bowl of a stand mixer, proof the 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast with the 1/4 cup of warm (115º degrees F) water about 5-10 minutes until frothy on top.
      Add the eggs, vanilla, sugar, and orange and lemon zest, to the yeast mixture and whisk together.
    • Add the starter and flour, attach the dough hook and mix until it comes together and starts pulling away from the bowl slightly. Turn the mixer to medium speed and knead for 10-15 minutes or until smooth and elastic. You may need to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides a few times.
    • Add the butter and knead for about 10-15 minutes more or until it's fully incorporated. Again you may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The dough should be smooth and elastic but will still be sticky.
    • Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead JUST ENOUGH flour into it until it's not EXTREMELY sticky and slightly easier to handle. The less flour you can use the lighter and fluffier your panettone will be once baked.
    • Place the dough in a large oiled bowl. Oil the top of the dough, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise 3 to 4 hours or until tripled in size. Once tripled in size gently punch the dough down, remove the dough from the bowl to a very lightly floured surface. Again only knead in enough flour to help you handle the dough a little easier. Place it in a one-gallon zip-top bag or another bowl covered with plastic. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
    • In a medium-size bowl marinate the dried golden raisins, dark raisins, and candied orange peel with the orange liqueur.  Cover with plastic wrap set aside and stir occasionally.

    Day Three

    • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface. Press and roll the dough out into a rectangle. Sprinkle the marinated fruit evenly over the dough. Roll the dough up tightly into a log shape. Fold the ends into the center and fold and tuck it around to form a smooth ball. Transfer the dough into a greased panettone mold
    • Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise until almost to the top of the paper mold about 3 to 4 hours. Almost tripled in size again. Remember the dough is cold so it will take a while to rise.
    • Just before it's completely risen, preheat the oven to 350ºF degrees. Brush the dough gently with the egg wash over the entire surface. With a very sharp knife gently cut across the top about 1/4-1/2" deep and again in the other direction. Place a dab of softened butter in the center of the cross.
    • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean. If it starts to brown too much lightly tent with a piece of aluminum foil.
    • While the bread is baking prepare a way to hang it upside down to cool. Once baked carefully slide two skewers through each side of the bottom of the bread. Flip it over into the prepared place to let cool at least 2 hours.


    UPDATE: While in the process of writing this post I decided to try to make this in 2 days. It worked perfectly. So if you don't have the time to do 3 days, make the starter early in the morning. Let it sit for at least 6 hours. It needs to be bubbly and risen.
    Then make the dough and let it rise 3-4 hours. Transfer to a plastic zip-lock bag and refrigerate overnight. Then continue with the rest of the steps.


    Serving: 15g | Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 185mg | Potassium: 147mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 222IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 2mg