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Puglia, Italy

Simple panettone recipe

Posted by Luci Ackers on Dec 08, 2016
Simple panettone recipe

Top tips for making panettone this Christmas.

So you'd like an Italian Christmas?

Simple. Make a panettone and impress all your guests!

This Italian sweet bread is a cake-like, buttery treat enjoyed around Christmas time. Conventionally panettone is packed with dried fruit and will have a delicate citrusy flavour. There are various recipes out there, some of which seem to be pretty time consuming and require a number of 'rest-periods'. If you don't have a lot of time on your side try this simpler method. It is easy to follow and will leave you with a traditional looking, delicious panettone.

Top tips for creating perfection

Leave enough time to let it rise.

Remember, though panettone is sweet it is more of a bread than a cake, which means you'll be making a dough and leaving it to rise for a while before moving on to the next step. Leave yourself about 3 hours for this.

Use a tin with high enough sides!

A lot of what makes a panettone really special is in the appearance. You want it to be really high and really light. If you don't have a panettone tin (many people don't!) then you can always improvise. You could use the pan from inside a bread-maker, a coffee can, something roughly 7 inches in diameter... and ovenproof.

Serve with coffee

“When in Rome”... If you really want to do as the Italians, serve panettone in the traditional way, with coffee mid/late morning. It is traditionally enjoyed how we in the UK would usually enjoy Christmas cake.

So to make your own you will need:

  • 500g plain flour
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 14g yeast
  • 170g unsalted butter
  • 300g mixed dried fruit (soaked over night)
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 tblsp warm water
  • 125ml warm milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • Grated zest from half a lemon
  • Grated zest from 1 orange
  • A paper panettone case or baking paper
  • 1 tall tin


Combine the warm water and milk, sprinkle in the yeast and allow it to dissolve. Stir in about 60g of the flour. Mix well, cover with cling film and let stand for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile beat the sugar, eggs, 2 egg yolks, vanilla and butter. Don't be alarmed if it looks as though it's starting to curdle. Add the yeast mixture and pulse then gradually add the remaining flour until the dough starts coming together.

When you turn the dough out on a floured surface it'll still be quite sticky. Fold in the fruit and zest and knead slightly. Ball the dough and place it in a spacious, oiled bowl. Cover with cling film and put in a warm place to double in size. You'll need to wait about 3 hours. Put the dough inside its paper and then into a greased mould about 7 inch in diameter. Brush the top with your final egg yolk.

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6. Place the panettone towards the bottom of the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. Lower the heat to gas mark 5 and bake until risen (around another 30 minutes) and the top is going golden. Test the loaf with a skewer and cool on a rack.

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Luci Ackers
Author: Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.

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