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closeup of panettone

Easy Panettone Recipe (Italian Christmas Bread)

Panettone is a sweet, soft, and buttery bread similar to brioche but it is loaded with candied orange, raisins, currents, and baked in a paper mold. It's also referred to as Italian Christmas bread because it is traditionally baked for the Holidays and shared with friends and family.
5 from 13 votes
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Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Proofing: 14 hrs
Total Time: 14 hrs 30 mins
Serves: 24 mini panettone (2"x2 3/8")
Calories: 214kcal

Ingredients

Sponge

  • 8 ounces (227 g) water 70ºF
  • 15 grams (15 grams) instant yeast
  • 10 ounces (284 g) bread flour

Dough

  • 8 ounces (227 g) butter (room temperature) softened
  • 4 ounces (113 g) honey
  • 1 teaspoon (3 g) salt
  • 2 (88 g) eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 (36 g) egg yolks (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) vanilla
  • 12 ounces (340 g) bread flour
  • 3 ounces (57 g) raisins
  • 2 ounce (28 g) candied orange peel
  • 3 ounces (57 g) dried cranberries
  • 2 ounces (57 g) dried currants
  • 1 tablespoon (6 g) lemon zest

Equipment

  • 2.75" Panettone Wrappers

Instructions

For the sponge

  • Mix yeast into flour, add to water, and mix until smooth.
  • Cover and place in fridge until double in size or overnight.

For the dough

  • In a bowl, combine 12 ounces of flour with salt. Set aside.
  • In your stand mixer, cream the softened butter and honey.
  • Slowly add eggs, yolks, and vanilla. Mix until almost combined, the eggs and butter wont fully incorprate at this stage.
  • Add sponge to the egg/butter mix. The dough will look broken, mix until it uniform in texture, then add flour, mix until it all comes together, about 3 minutes. Switch to your dough hook.
  • Add the fruits and zest into the dough and mix with dough hook on low for 8 minutes to develop gluten.
  • Cover the bowl and let dough rise for 30 minutes at room temp. If you need more time place dough in the fridge to ferment slower.
  • If you are using the mini panettone papers portion your dough into about 3 oz balls and place into papers. This should make approximately 25 mini pannetone. You can also use larger papers or loaf pans.
  • Cover lightly and let proof in the papers for about 30 min, if your dough is cold from fermenting in the fridge, this could take longer.
  • Brush the tops of the doughs with an egg wash (mixed egg/yolk and a pinch of salt). On a sheet pan evenly spaced, place panettone into a 375* oven for approximately 25 minutes. This time will vary on the size of bread you are baking. The bread is done with it is nicely browned on top and has an internal temp of about 200* when a probe thermometer is inserted into the middle.
  • Let breads cool, but can be enjoyed warm.

Notes

Making this slow-rise Panettone only requires 20 minutes of actual work time. The rest of the time is giving your dough time to develop flavor and for yeast to do its thing. This is what your schedule should look like.
Day 1 - Make the sponge. Cover it with plastic wrap and place it into the fridge to rise overnight (12-15 hours).
Day 2 - Make the dough and place it into the panettone paper containers of your choice.
Day 2 - Let the dough rise until double before baking (about 60-90 minutes) or cover with plastic wrap and place into the fridge overnight to bake the next morning.
Tips for success
  1. Instant yeast is best for this recipe so rise times are not as long. See the blog post for yeast substitutions using an active dry or sourdough starter.
  2. Brush your Panettone before you bake it with egg wash for a golden, shiny finish. 
  3. If you're baking a large loaf, be sure to cool it upside down using skewers to prevent the loaf from collapsing. (see photo in blog post)

Nutrition

Serving: 1roll | Calories: 214kcal (11%) | Carbohydrates: 32g (11%) | Protein: 4g (8%) | Fat: 8g (12%) | Saturated Fat: 5g (25%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg (7%) | Sodium: 169mg (7%) | Potassium: 90mg (3%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 10g (11%) | Vitamin A: 239IU (5%) | Vitamin C: 1mg (1%) | Calcium: 11mg (1%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)