Panettone- Sweet Italian Bread

Panettone is a sweet Italian bread originally from Milan and always available in stores at Christmas and New Year. Growing up in Toronto I always remember giant displays of Panettone in big fancy boxes. It is a sweet bread like a brioche with lots of eggs, butter and usually with candied orange and raisins. My version turned out exceptionally well and is filled with butter, eggs, dried blueberries and homemade candied orange and lemon. It is a 2 day process but, it is so worth it! The bread is tall and fluffy and scented with vanilla and orange. It is wonderful served warm with more butter and makes great toast or french toast!

Instead of buying one this year think of how special your family will feel if you make it fresh!

You will need:


  • 1 cup flour -all purpose
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
  • 4 cups flour -all purpose flour (+ 1/2 cup just before adding fruit pus more for counter)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp dray active yeast (or 1 package yeast)
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup dried blueberries
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 cup chopped orange and lemon peel (see recipe link to make candied peel)
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 vanilla bean- seeds scraped out
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter- chopped into small chunks- room temperature (12 tbsp = 1 1/2 sticks of butter or 3/4 cup)
  • 2 tbsp butter to grease pans
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • course sugar to sprinkle on top (optional)
Step 1: the day before you want to bake your panettone prepare your poolish which helps with the nice high rise of the bread. The long time provides a good ferment time which creates a richer beautiful bread.
 In a small bowl add the flour, the warm water and the yeast. Cover and put in fridge for 10 – 18 hours before using. I make the poolish at night and started the bread the next morning.
Step 2: The morning of baking remove your starter from the fridge, stir and let come to room temperature (1-2 hours) When at room temperature add 1 cup flour and 3/4 cup warm water to your starter to get it foaming and active again. (1 hour) Remove your poolish from fridge and let come to room temperature while your starter gets active. Use 1 cup of starter for this recipe and return the rest of the starter to the fridge. You will be using all of the poolish.
Step 3: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook add dry ingredients: flour, sugar, salt and yeast.
Step 4: in a large bowl you will put all your wet ingredients. Add your  1 cup of starter and all of the poolish.
Step 5: Add 3 eggs, 6 yolks and milk. Keep 2 egg whites in a small bowl for the glaze and you can freeze the other egg whites for another use.
Step 6: take the blueberries and soak in 1/4 cup of brandy for 20 minutes, then discard the brandy before using.
Step 7: chop your orange and lemon rind into small dice.Place in a small bowl. Slice the vanilla bean in half (lengthwise) and scrape out the black seeds and into the bowl. Zest lemon and orange. Add honey and olive oil.
Step 8: add the wet ingredients from the large bowl into the dry ingredients in the stand mixer. Start machine on slow and mix on medium speed until incorporated 5 minutes. Turn off machine and leave mixture for 20 minutes to rest.
Step 9: Beat on medium/high for 6-8 minutes until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Add butter a few pieces at a time until mixed in. Add candied peel and blueberry mix and 1/2 cup additional flour. Once mixed a few times pour mix out on floured counter to mix by hand to make sure fruit gets mixed in but is not damaged by machine. Once smooth and incorporated place in a buttered bowl (very large)
Step 10: Cover with plastic wrap and put in fridge for 10-18 hours until doubled in size.
Step 11: On a floured counter turn out your dough and form into 2 balls. Generously butter your baking pans. I used 2 tall 7 inch pans that are 3 inches high and worked perfectly. You can buy cardboard moulds or make them and butter them before placing the cuff around your pans to make a tall loaf.
Step 12: in a food processor make glaze. Add hazelnuts and icing sugar and pulse until finely ground. Then add egg whites and olive oil until it creates a thick paste.
Step 13: place half the glaze over each bread and let bread rise for final rise until doubled. This may take 3-4 hours on a warm counter. Sprinkle with course sugar.
Step 14: Bake in 375 degree F oven for 40 minutes until brown and fragrant. Let cool for 5 minutes and then remove from pans, you may need to carefully loosen to remove as some sugar might stick to sides. Place on  a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes. Then slice and enjoy!
Truly spectacular bread!!


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