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!!

[print_this]Recipe:  Traditional Panettone  your picture

Summary: A delicious sweet Italian bread like cake studded with fruit, nuts and candied peel. The Panettone originates from Milan, and is traditionally made around Christmas. Panettone recipe slightly adapted from The Italian Baker by Carol Field. Makes 2 Panettone {I made half recipe} Candied Orange Peel from Use Real Butter

Prep Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours {plus resting and cooling time}

  • Sponge
  • 1 satchel (2¼ teaspoons) (7 gm) active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) warm water
  • ½ cup (70 gm) unbleached all purpose flour
  • First Dough
  • 1 satchel (2¼ teaspoons) (7 gm) active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) warm water
  • 2 large eggs, at room temp
  • 1¼ cup (175 gm) unbleached all-purpose (plain) flour
  • ¼ cup (55 gm) (2 oz) sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) (115 gm) unsalted butter, at room temp
  • Second dough
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup (150 gm) (5-2/3 oz) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) honey
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla extract {I used 1 vanilla bean in half recipe}
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) lemon essence/extract
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) orange essence/extract
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) (225 gm) unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 3 cups (420 gm) (15 oz) unbleached all-purpose (plain) flour; plus up to (2/3 cup) 100 gm for kneading
  • Filling and final dough
  • 1½ cups (250 gm) (9 oz) golden raisins or golden sultanas
  • ½ cup (75 gm) (2-2/3 oz) candied citron {I didn’t have this so I made it up with candied orange peel}
  • ½ cup (75 gm) (2-2/3 oz) candied orange peel 
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons (30-45 ml) (15-25 gm) all-purpose (plain) flour
  • Note: I used about 3 cups of fruit & nut filling from my Christmas Garam Masala Fruit Cake
  • Candied Orange peel recipe 


  1. Sponge
  2. Mix the yeast and water in a small bowl and allow to stand until creamy. That’s about 10 minutes or so.
  3. Mix in the flour.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to double in size for about 20 to 30 minutes
  5. TM: I just placed everything in the Thermomix Speed 5, 10 seconds.
  6. First Dough By Mixer
  7. In the mixer bowl, mix together the yeast and water and allow to stand until creamy. Again, about 10 minutes or so.
  8. With the paddle attached mix in the sponge, eggs, flour, and sugar.
  9. Add in the butter and mix for 3 minutes until the dough is smooth and even.
  10. Cover with plastic wrap and allow double in size, about 1 – 1 ¼ hours
  11. Second Dough By Mixer
  12. With the paddle mix in thoroughly the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, honey, scraped vanilla bean, essences/extracts, and salt.
  13. Mix in the butter until smooth.
  14. Add the flour and slowly incorporate.
  15. At this stage the dough will seem a little too soft, like cookie dough.
  16. Replace the paddle with the dough hook and knead for about 2 minutes.
  17. Turn out the dough and knead it on a well-floured surface until it sort of holds its shape.
  18. Don’t knead in too much flour but you may need as much as 2/3 cup. Be careful the excess flour will affect the finished product. {I didn’t add any extra flour}
  19. First Rise
  20. Oil a large bowl lightly, plop in your dough and cover
  21. Oil a large bowl lightly, plop in your dough and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm place for 2-4 hours until it has tripled in size. 
  22. Filling and Final Rise
  23. Soak the raisin/sultanas in water 30 minutes before the end of the first rise. {I used about 3 cups of fruit & nut filling from my Christmas Garam Masala Fruit Cake}
  24. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. 
  25. Now take your dough and cut it in half. Remember we are making two panettoni.
  26. Combine all your filling ingredients and mix well.
  27. Press out one portion of dough into an oval shape.
  28. Sprinkle over one quarter of the filling and roll up the dough into a log
  29. Press out again into an oval shape and sprinkle over another quarter of the filling.
  30. Roll into a log shape again.
  31. Repeat with the second portion of dough.
  32. Shape each into a ball and slip into your prepared pans, panettone papers or homemade panettone papers.
  33. Cut an X into the top of each panettone and allow to double in size. If it has been rising on the kitchen bench in a warm place it should be doubled in about 2 hours.
  34. Baking
  35. When you think your dough has only about 30 minutes left to rise preheat your oven to moderately hot 200°C
  36. Just before baking carefully {don’t deflate it!} cut the X into the dough again and place in a knob {a nut} of butter.
  37. Place your panettoni in the oven and bake for 10 minutes
  38. Reduce the heat to moderate 180°C and bake for another 10 minutes
  39. Reduce the heat again to moderate 160°C and bake for 30 minutes until the tops are well browned and a skewer inserted into the panettone comes out clean.
  40. Cool completely.


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


  • 4 years ago

    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. 🙂

  • 4 years ago

    I love how you have subtly added an xmas flavour to all your pics. Absolutely lovely.

  • 4 years ago

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

    Happy Holidyas, dear.



  • 4 years ago

    Awesome job! I love how you dressed them all up, they look spectacular!

  • 4 years ago

    they all look pretty, great picture!

  • 4 years ago


  • 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!!

  • 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.

  • 4 years ago


  • 4 years ago

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

  • How beautiful is this!

  • 4 years ago

    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 🙂 )


  • 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

  • 4 years ago

    Girl, you made panettone?
    Your kitchen must have smelled like heaven!

  • 4 years ago

    Love panettone! Ans these look delicious!!

  • 4 years ago

    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!!

  • 4 years ago

    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.

  • 4 years ago

    Mamma mia !!!!
    Awesome !! Candied fruits are beautiful and they change a lot from traditional Panettone.
    Well done, I’m sure they tasted great !

  • 4 years ago

    WOW – so impressive. I love the papers you used, too, that you threaded the ribbon through – beautiful! As always, amazing job on the challenge.

  • 4 years ago

    The pictures tell a thousand story…I can imagine how this panettone would have tasted…

  • 4 years ago

    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!

  • 4 years ago

    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 🙂

  • 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 🙂

  • 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!

  • A beautiful bread and such a holiday classic!

  • 4 years ago

    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.

  • 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

  • 4 years ago

    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

  • Evelyn
    4 years ago

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

  • 4 years ago

    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!

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