How to make the best Panettone
Panettone is a special Italian Christmas Bread made over 2-3 days to develop its fluffiness and the excellent taste for which it is famous. The original classic version is a sweet-ish bread enriched with raisins, candied orange and lemon peel plus eggyolks and butter. It is said, that the origin lies in Milan, Italy in 1495 and is named after the sous-chef Antonio who served this bread out of necessity because his boss burned the actual planned dessert.
With our artisan bread mix EINBACK you can make 4 Panettone loaves, ~600g each.
This Italian classic is a true labor of love and patience. Rushing through the recipe is impacting the taste and consistency of a delicious loaf. Using high quality ingredients is key for perfect results. We highly recommend you plan out your timeline and use a kitchen mixer to make the best Panettone you probably ever had. We taste-tested our version based on the artisan bread mix Einback with our Italian friends here in the US and those who tried them in Italy. ‘Best Panettone since we moved to the States!‘ and ‘The taste is very close to grandma’s Panettone.‘ – Well, let’s say – our Panettone recipe is Italian approved.
Best Panettone made from Scratch
Our recipe is based of the bread mix EINBACK and is baked in paper molds with the size of 5 1/4 x 3 3/4 inch. Use high quality, unsalted tasty butter without any ‘natural flavors’ or colors (exp: Kerrygold, President), organic (dried) fruits and eggs for the best desired result. Our flour-mixes are always organic so you don’t have to take care of this part. As we personally don’t like candied orange and lemon peel we swap them with other dried fruits and some zest.
NOTE: Use a digital scale to measure the water in gramm (oz)!
Ingredients for your Panettone recipe, makes 2:
100 g / 3.5 oz dried fruits, chopped (We use Cranberries, Raisins, Apricots)
50 g / 1.8 oz water, filtered
1/2 Bread Mix EINBACK
120 g / 4 oz water, filtered
~25 g / 2 TBS cane sugar
115 g / 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
(optional: 1 TBS lemon and / or orange zest)
1 egg small, whisked with 0.5 TBS water (egg-wash)
13 g / 1 TBS unsalted butter, softened
1 TBS (Belgian) pearl sugar
Instructions for our best Panettone Recipe
Step 1 – Put the bread mix into the mixing bowl. Now take away from it 200 g / 7 oz into a 2qt bowl and add 120 g / 4 oz water (room temperature). Mix it well, cover and let rest for 2-3 hours on the counter, then 10-16 hours in the fridge.
Step 2 – Soak the fruits in water, let stand overnight, covered.
Step 3 – Take out the eggs and butter to acclimate.
Step 1 – ‘Mis en place’ – prep all remaining ingredients for the dough to have them handy when you need them.
In the kitchen mixer, add the pre-dough with the water to the rest of the flour-mix and start mixing on low speed. Half way through add one eggyolk and mix further until incorporated, then add 1/3 of the butter in pieces, one at a time. Allow each piece to incorporate ~70% before adding more. The whole kneading takes ~5-8 min. Let rest 25 min, covered.
Step 2 – Mix further on low while adding the sugar and one eggyolk at the time.
Step 3 – Add the remaining butter in pieces as in step 1. The whole kneading in step 2+3 takes now ~12-15 min. It’s a very soft and sticky dough, don’t worry. Scrape down the side of the bowl if needed. You can add 1 TSP AP-flour when you think that it is not coming together.
Step 4 – Stop the machine and make a windowpane test. With floured fingers gently stretch out a piece of dough until it gets a very thin layer without tearing. Otherwise knead the dough 3 more minutes and test it again. The dough will now have a temperature of ~25°C / 77°F.
Step 5 – Add the the fruits and optional the zest, spoon-wise in steps. Takes about 5 more minutes to knead. Take the dough out into a big bowl (>4qt), cover loosley with wrapping foil and let it rise for 2-3 hours on the counter until it’s 2-3x the size.
Step 6 – Lightly flour the workspace, add the dough, divide in two. Shape each piece into a ball while first stretching the edges into the middle, turn around and shape it round. Place the molds on a half size baking sheet and lay the dough pieces gently into it. Cover with wrapping foil and let rise until just under the edge (~1 hour). Now preheat your oven to 400°F with the wire rack on the 2nd level from below. (use an oven thermometer to check!)
Step 7 – When the dough is just over the edge, lightly cut a cross on top, brush with the eggwash, sprinkle the pearl sugar on top and place a piece of butter in the middle.
Step 8 – Turn down the oven to 350°F and bake for ~30 min. Rotate the loaves during the last minutes for even browning if necessary. The Panettoni are baked through when the internal temperature meassures 90°C / 194°F.
Step 9 – Prep your construction to hang the Panettone to cool; stacks of books or big pots. Use wooden or metal skewers to poke through the paper mold just above the bottom, gently turn the loaf around and hang it upside down to cool for 6-8 hours. This step is very traditional and crucial to avoid deflating during cooling.
To store a Panettone properly put it in a zipper bag on your counter and consum it within 5-7 days. When it gets to dry, just slice it and enjoy it as a French toast for your next Sunday breakfast. To enjoy this treat even longer you can also freeze it after it is completely cooled for about 2 month.
How to serve and eat a Panettone
Typically the Panettone is eaten in December around Christmas and New Year and is served for breakfast, brunch or dessert. Italians like to pair a slice of their Christmas Bread with a glass of Spumante, dessert wine or with a hot cocoa, but of course a good cappuccino or espresso suits it as well.
The best way to cut a Panettone is with a serrated knife into wedges straight through the paper mold. That way you can serve 8-12 slices of a delicious homemade sweet bread.
The overall process and instructions may be a bit intimidating, but it is actually the easiest way to make the best Panettone from scratch at home. TIP: You can substitute the soaked dried fruits with silvered roasted almonds and chocolate chunks or you leave them out completely. Go ahead and try it out. Be surprised what you can achieve!
Our best Italian Panettone proudly made with our artisan bread mix EINBACK: