Featured Italian Bread

An Italian Home Christmas Classic – Panettone

Italian Bread Recipe

This essence of Christmas originated in Milan and is a sweet bread traditionally baked in a large cylindrical dome that will be found in every Italian home during the Christmas season.


  • 4 envelopes dry active yeast
  • ½ lb pignoli (pine nuts)
  • 1 ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 lb butter – unsalted, melted cooled
  • ½ lb candied citron – whole
  • 16 cups flour – sifted, divided
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lb currants
  • 1 lb light bown sugar
  • 6 eggs – large
  • 2 ½ cups milk – not low fat
  • extra butter – for greasing

NOTE: butter and milk should be heated to a simmer and then cooled to 105º


  1. In a bowl combine ½ cup warm water (app. 105-110º) with the yeast and sugar.
  2. Mix well and set aside until the yeast becomes frothy.
  3. In the meantime, finely dice the citron and set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together 14 cups of flour together with the salt.
  5. Make a well in the center of the flour, add the raisins, brown sugar, pignoli, diced citron and mix well.
  6. Add the yeast mixture, the butter cooled to 105º, 2 cups of the milk, cooled to 105º and the beaten eggs.
  7. Mix and knead until smooth and elastic, adding the remaining 2 cups of flour as needed. You should feel the dough pull away from the sides of the bowl as you are kneading.
  8. Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled or buttered bowl, turning the ball to cover all.
  9. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place for about 3-5 hours until it as doubled in size.
  10. Punch the dough down.
  11. This recipe makes 4 medium size loaves. Depending on the size of the pan you are using, divide the dough accordingly. You may use, coffee tins, disposable round pans or even souffle pans.
  12. Shape the dough and tuck in the bottom.
  13. Tuck into your buttered pans, cover with plastic and place again in a draft-free warm place to double in size for a second time.
  14. Remove the wrap, brush with the remaining warmed milk.
  15. (Have the oven pre-heated to 350). Cut the top of the dough with scissors to make traditional X marks.
  16. Brush again with more warmed milk and bake for app. 60 – 90 minutes or until the loaves are a golden brown.
  17. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and remove the panettone immediately.
  18. Transfer to a rack for a few hours to cool.

NOTE: If you are not fond of citron, substitute with pineapple and think about adding some dried cherries. The suggested baking time is based on 4 medium loaves. Adjust the time to the size of the pan that you are using. Panettone usually lasts for a good week. However, it freezes well if well wrapped.

Buon Mangiati!


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