Perfect for gift giving or for bake sales, this paper baking mold is designed to be part of the packaging, eliminating the need to remove cakes from their pans before giving or selling.   The mold is of a rigid freestanding construction (there's no need to place it inside a panettone pan), so you simply fill with batter, bake, cool, and wrap.
Your place for traditional Italian recipes
(Makes 1 large bread)
Panettone, the tall, cylindrical, fruit-filled sweet bread from Milan has become an essential part of the Christmas season.  You can make panettone two months in advance, wrap it tightly in heavy-duty foil and freeze it.  Since the bread making begins with a starter dough, or sponge, and requires a long rising time, it is best to begin the process the evening before baking or early in the day. Also remember that room temperatures and humidity can affect the rising of the dough, so your rising times may be shorter or longer than the recipe states.

There are many variations of a romantic legend about the origins of panettone.  Supposedly, there was a Milanese baker named Toni who had a beautiful daughter.  A young man who worked for Toni wanted to marry this daughter.  In an attempt to win the father's approval, the young man created a special sweet bread filled with fruits and other rich ingredients.  The bread made Toni's bakery famous.  People began to call the bread "pan ad Toni" or Toni's bread.  Toni became wealthy and, needless to say, allowed the young man to marry his daughter.

1 (1/4 ounce) package dry  yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110 - 115 degrees F)
1/2 cup flour

2/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup grappa, brandy, or orange liqueur
8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 eggs
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
3-1/2 to 4 cups flour
Grated zest of 1 orange
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup chopped candied citron or orange peel


To make the starter dough or sponge, dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup flour and stir to make a very loose dough. Cover the bowl with a towel of plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for at least 6 hours or overnight.

In another bowl, combine the raisins and liqueur, and let them soak for at least 6 hours or overnight.

In a large bowl, combine the butter, eggs, yolks, sugar, and vanilla with the paddle of an electric stand mixer.  Drain the soaked raisins in a strainer set over a bowl. Press on the raisins with a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.  Set the raisins aside. Add the liquid to the egg mixture. Add the starter dough and mix well.

Add 2 cups of the flour and blend the mixture well. Add another cup of flour and mix to incorporate. A soft dough will begin to form.  If you are using an electric stand mixer, switch from the paddle attachment to the dough hook. Knead the dough with the dough hook for about 5 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
(You can also knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured surface.)  Add more flour if needed but you don't want the dough to be too dry.  Removethe dough from the mixer bowl and form it into a ball.

Butter a large bowl, place the dough in it and turn once to coat both sides with the butter. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise for 5 to 6 hours in a warm place.

Butter and flour a panettone mold or other deep mold that is about 6 inches tall and 7 inches wide. If you are using a paper panettone mold, there is no need to butter it.

Punch down the dough and transfer it onto a lightly floured surface. With your hands, flatten the dough into a large rectangle. Evenly distribute the orange and lemon zest, raisins, and citron over the dough.  Fold the dough in half to enclose the fruit and knead to distribute the fruit throughout the dough. Place the dough in the prepared mold, cover with a towel, and let rise for 45-60 minutes in a warm place. The dough should rise to just below the top of the mold. It will continue to rise during baking.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut an X in the top of the dough with a sharp knife. Bake for 15 minutes.
Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F. Continue to bake for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Place the bread on a rack to cool for 30 minutes before removing it from the mold. Be sure that the bread has cooled completely before wrapping it for storage.

This recipe was edited and revised on 11/05/13
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Pandoro: The traditional Christmas bread from Verona
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Active Yeast has coarse granules that should be dissolved in a warm liquid to 'bloom' or activate and get foamy; adding a pinch of sugar with the yeast encourages the blooming process. This takes about 5 to 10 minutes.
Instant Yeast includes bread-machine, rapid-rise and quick rise yeast.  They're finer in texture and can be added directly to dry ingredients; no blooming is necessary.  Many promise a shorter rising time but that isn't necessarily a good thing because dough develops flavor and texture as it rises.
Candied Orange Peel