Holiday Panettone…

Here’s to another thing included in the Christmas baskets, Panettone.  I’m sure you’ve all seen the cheesy “imported from Europe” Panettone loaves at the stores.  It seems exotic because we don’t have it year round.  News flash, it’s European fruitcake. Except for one thing, it’s good and people don’t use them as doorstops. I made it for the first time this year and thought to include it in the baskets for the heck of it.


Panettone originated in Milan, Italy and is a sweet bread made for Christmas and New Year. It’s usually cylindrical in shape with a crowned top, also known as a cupola shape.  It is also risen three times for a light fluffy texture.  I chose not to do this since the time taken would have been great.  Plus, since I added more fruit, I wanted a denser bread.  Panettone usually features currants, but I also added in apricots, golden raisins, cranberries, and cherries.

I also put them in bake-ready rectangular containers which they’d also be packed in. The dough is enriched, meaning it contains items other than flour and water.  Eggs, sugar, and milk are added for that true sweet bread taste.

Fruits are folded in last as we don’t want them over-mixed.

They rise quite a bit in the oven. I left about 1/2″ to the top of the container and they crowned about 1 1/2 -2″ above the containers lip.

They have a beautiful appearance and are fit for presentation.  These paper containers, which can be found at any packing store (those that sell decorative food packaging, cellophane bags, etc) are very useful.  These were nonstick and are able to be baked up to 450 F.

The crust is nicely split.  But what about the inside? That is the most important after all.

I made twelve loaves, but only eleven went out.  This one went into my stomach for quality control evaluation.

Survey says: it is good.

Makes 1 8″ round loaf or 6 4×3″ rectangle loaves

1/2 c butter, softened
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
3 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 c whole milk
1 c sugar
1/4 c currants, dried
1/4 c golden raisins
1/4 c finely chopped dried apricots
1/4 c finely chopped dried cherries
zest of two oranges
2 t cream of tartar
1 1/2 t baking soda

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Cream butter, eggs, and yolks for 3-4 minutes with a paddle attachment on a mixer. Add 1/2 of the flour with dough hook and mix well. Add 1/2 the milk and mix for one minute. Add the other 1/2 of flour and mix.  Add the other 1/2 of milk and mix well. Add the sugar, cream of tartar, and baking soda and incorporate.  At this point, it should be like a bread dough, workable with your hands. Remove and add fruit bits.  Knead 5-10 minutes (this can be left in the mixer if you’d prefer).

Pour dough into baking vessels and bake for 35-45 minutes, rotating halfway through.  Check with a skewer to make sure no batter is still gooey inside.


*up next…Brasserie du Vin…*


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