Baking | Traditional Panettone the Daring Bakers way!

“If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.”
Robert Browning

PanettoneTraditional Panettone … the December Daring Bakers challenge sounded like music to my ears, only that I wasn’t sure at all that I would get to doing the challenge. The year end has been quite a roller coaster ride, at times frustrating and saddening. The events around the world make the heart heavy, yet the very thought of food means comfort.

Panettone 2Back from an early Christmas cum birthday party a few days ago, I bit into a sweet rum fruit cake that was part of the goodie bag. That old comforting feeling flooded my senses. Sure enough, I was soaking fruit the next morning. A quick Christmas fruit cake was sure to lift the spirits a bit…

Christmas Garam Masala Fruit CakeWith the fruit soaking, the challenge played on the mind since I knew the panettone also used fruit, not soaked though. Pannetone is a sweet yeasted Italian bread served at Christmas. It is characteristically tall. Mine wasn’t. I misjudged the tins a little {read quite a lot}.

The December 2012 Daring Bakers’ 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!

PanettoneI really pushed myself to begin the challenge. One look at the recipe and you will understand. It looked long and daunting. I began early in the morning. Thankfully the Thermomix did all the kneading in minutes. It was the ‘rises’ that took all day, and my panettones finally got ready late in the evening.

So how was the Panettone born? A beautiful bread with a romantic tale. 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. The one recounted by Carol Field, whose recipe we use today, is that of a rich young Milanese noble who fell in love with the daughter of a poor baker whose name was Tony (Antonio). Panettone 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.

Panettone 3Well thanks to Tony and Marcellina, {and the author of the recipe, Carol Field, of course}, we have this delicious traditional Christmas favourite delighting our palettes today. Rich, buttery, brioche like, studded with raisins, candied peel, nuts {and dark  chocolate chips in the mini ones}, the Panettone is comforting and addictive.

PanettoneOf course I had no time to make a traditional panettone case, and sadly they are quite impossible to find in India. Mine were baked in parchment cases in 3 tiny cake tins. I made half a dozen in cupcake cases too.

PanettoneSo glad I made them. They were fabulous! I was unsure if the kids would eat them, given their love-hate relationship with fruit and nuts … but NOM NOM NOM were the words out of the daughters mouth. The first cupcakes vanished soon, followed by one small cake.

Panettone One bite of the Panettone took me back to the Dresden Stollen; a bread that had ‘stolen‘ my heart a few years ago. The Stollen is an amazing Christmas bread, one that can be made months in advance, and one that keeps really well. A traditional German holiday bread, the Dresden Stollen has yeast and quark as two of the key ingredients.

We also did a Stollen Bread Pudding with the Daring Bakers in December 2010; yet another amazing Christmas dessert. This year was getting very busy and my time management was rock bottom {so what’s new?}. The quintessential fruit cake was yet to be baked and it was already the 22rd!

Christmas CakeChristmas at home is never complete without Fruit Cake. I made a twist to my regular fruit cake this year with a Christmas Garam Masala Fruit Cake. YUM! That was what I originally cut and soaked fruit for. Then figured I could manage the Panettone too.

Panettone Lofty ambitions as Mr PAB decided to hit ER running a temperature of 105C on the coldest day of this year. We shivered with cold while he raged with high fever that took us to hospital. Nothing a drip and a few shots couldn’t fix … and I raced home to my beloved Panettone. Talk about dedication to baking!

PanettoneDon’t get daunted by the length of the recipe or the many ‘risings’ … or the amount of butter for that matter! This is good stuff, well worth the effort, and all the ‘risings’.

PanettoneI didn’t get as far as the baked traditional glaze the recipe offered. The Panettone looked good without it too, until the boy saw a picture I was looking at and asked why mine had no glaze. Talk about added pressure. PanettoneLow fat cream + raw powdered sugar + almond extract = good quick glaze. Good enough for some craisins and slivered pistachios to hang on to. Yummy as well!

Panettone I dressed the Panettone up in a collar of parchment paper with holes punched through, threading golden ribbon through. The little ones were baked in green Christmas cupcake liners that I placed in deep individual muffin tins like the ones you see in this Plum Fro Yo. The dough baked upwards quite nicely. I loved the way they came out.

Do stop by here and check out some the beautiful Panettone that the Daring Bakers have baked. Thank you Marcella for sharing the beautiful story and recipe with us. Thank you as always Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of  Cream Puffs in Venice for hosting this fab kitchen!!

Before I go, I am happy to announce the winner for the giveaway of the beautiful retro scale and worktop saver from Zansaar. Put your hands together for Kajal @ For the Love of Food. Congratulations Kajal … will mail you soon! BTW, your blog is beautiful!

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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  1. wow..Now I see what a pannetone is. Such a rich bread.. lovely pictures.
    Loving that wreath , those scalloped parchment borders and everything that you do with your pictures. Magical. :-)
    sangeeta khanna´s last blog post ..spaghetti with chicken meatballs | pasta made healthy…My Profile

  2. I love how you have subtly added an xmas flavour to all your pics. Absolutely lovely.
    indugetscooking´s last blog post ..Oreo ShakeMy Profile

  3. vewry well done! Your panettoni look amazing and really tempting.

    Happy Holidyas, dear.



  4. Awesome job! I love how you dressed them all up, they look spectacular!
    Jenni´s last blog post ..Sourdough PanettoneMy Profile

  5. they all look pretty, great picture!
    marilyne_k´s last blog post ..Daring Baker – December 2012: PanettoneMy Profile

  6. thanks

  7. I love seeing miniature versions of a recipe.. panetonne looks soo festive..with the fruit and the way you’ve dressed them up!!!! its a terrible end to the year with the events in delhi.. lets look with hope to 2013!! happy holidays and happy new year!!
    Sarvani @ baker in disguise´s last blog post ..Christmas Fruit CakeMy Profile

  8. Your photographs are beautiful, as usual. Love the idea of dressing up the breads with decorated parchment. Hope 2013 brings you all good things. Happy New Year.
    Barbara @ Barbara Bakes´s last blog post ..Favorite Cookies 2012My Profile

  9. Awesome,
    Archana´s last blog post ..Veggie Thai Red CurryMy Profile

  10. wow! your photography is absolutely beautiful, as is your styling! i love how elegant your panettone is! wonderful!

  11. How beautiful is this!

  12. Deeba,
    Lovely post and a gorgeous panettone ….my colleague had brought one to office a week back and that was my first taste of this lovely Italian bread. I wish I had seen the Daring Bakers challenge earlier, wouldnt have definitely given it a try.

    Pics are stunning as always!
    (hope Mr.PAB is doing well now and enjoyed your Panettones too :-) )

    Manju´s last blog post ..Baked Stuffed Mushrooms…a perfect bite sized appetizer !My Profile

  13. Your pictures are breath taking as always Deeba :)
    I love how you dressed up the parchment and I love the idea of the mini cupcake ones. If I ever make panettone again (I think there is a very good chance I might) I will try the cup cakes
    I hope Mr PAB is doing better
    Wishing you a wonderful and blessed new year
    Sawsan @chef in disguise´s last blog post ..PanettoniMy Profile

  14. Girl, you made panettone?
    Your kitchen must have smelled like heaven!
    Colette @ JFF!´s last blog post ..Baby Bundt in a Tux: Orange Cake Iced TwiceMy Profile

  15. Love panettone! Ans these look delicious!!
    gloria´s last blog post ..Amaretto apricot Cake and Merry Christmas!!My Profile

  16. Oh…… WOW. Those are seriously beautiful, The prettiest panettone I’ve seen so far. Well done!! I love the glaze on top and the frilly little papers you made. I’m Pinning this for inspiration next Christmas!!
    Korena´s last blog post ..Daring Bakers: Chocolate Orange PanettoneMy Profile

  17. Deeba, your Panettoni are beautiful as all your food always is! I’m so glad you could complete the challenge! My warmest wishes to you for the New Year.

  18. Mamma mia !!!!
    Awesome !! Candied fruits are beautiful and they change a lot from traditional Panettone.
    Well done, I’m sure they tasted great !
    Lisa´s last blog post ..Panettone pour The Daring KitchenMy Profile

  19. WOW – so impressive. I love the papers you used, too, that you threaded the ribbon through – beautiful! As always, amazing job on the challenge.
    Shelley C´s last blog post ..December Daring Bakers’ Challenge – PanettoneMy Profile

  20. The pictures tell a thousand story…I can imagine how this panettone would have tasted…
    Arthy Suman´s last blog post ..Guest Post by Swasthi Blank: Vegetable BiryaniMy Profile

  21. They look gorgeous Deeba! and love how you’ve dressed them up – so festive! :) Hope Mr PAB is better now!
    and thanks for the giveaway Deeba! am super thrilled! this is my first and i’m so glad it came from you! Hugs!
    Kajal´s last blog post ..Gingerbread cookies – Merry Christmas!!My Profile

  22. Oh my god Deeba everytime I look at your page I just stare at with awe. This cake looks delish. I ate panettone for the first time this here. Every shop in Australia sells it and it was delicious. I hope one day I can bake this and also take part in the daring bakers challenge too :) Although I might not do justice to it as you do :)
    Bhavna´s last blog post ..A makeover with Lemon and Coconut cup cakesMy Profile

  23. I have neber had panettone before but it surely looks so good! i started out with love-hate relationship with baking but over a year or so, I feel pretty therapeutic and every ingredient, every minute actually is soo worth the final product. your photographs are perfect as usual :) hope Mr. PAB is feeling better now. Happy Holidays :)

  24. Sorry to hear about Mr PAB’s fever- hope he is better, or well enough to gobble up those delicious panettone. They are really pretty, Deeba, you did an excellent job with the challenge!
    jehanne@thecookingdoctor´s last blog post ..Daring Bakers’ December Challenge: PanettoneMy Profile

  25. A beautiful bread and such a holiday classic!

  26. Everytime I visit your blog I admire the way you add love in your recipes. So detailed work…Wonderful looking bread.
    Hope Mr. PAb is doing good now.
    Deepa´s last blog post ..Strawberry PancakesMy Profile

  27. Oh wonderful perfect Panettone. I really enjoyed your photography, especially the first photo.
    Sometimes its really difficult to find molds in India. when I try to explain the vendor what I want, they won’t understand and if I show them the picture they bring me something else which isn’t what I am looking for. Somebody should start a specialized baking store in the cities (and goa!).

    I wish you a Happy New Year Deeba! =D

  28. I did panettone when I hosted ‘fresh from the oven’ last Christmas – I didn’t realise Daring Bakers hadn’t done it yet? I think I’ve dropped out of their program and I’ll have to reapply if I want to join in again…

    I absolutely LOVE your pretty paper wrappers in the tins! Beautiful pictures and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family xx
    Sarah, Maison Cupcake´s last blog post ..42 abandoned blog posts you didn’t see in 2012My Profile

  29. Evelyn says:

    Your pictures are the essence of festivity. I LOVE the papers you made and will definitely keep the idea for next year.

  30. So many beautiful photos! And the homemade candied peel looks delicious – not to mention the panettoni themselves. I love the ribbon threaded through the wrappers – so clever!
    Makey-Cakey´s last blog post ..How to turn 1 apple into dessert for 3…My Profile


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