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Homemade Panettone

This recipe for the famous Italian bread has been modified for the home-baker, but it produces a delicious and fluffy panettone nonetheless!
Keyword christmas, yeast bread
Servings 1 very big panettone


  • Stand mixer
  • Stand mixer's paddle attachment and dough hook
  • Spatula
  • Panettone mold OR 9-inch springform pan OR 9-inch tube pan*


For the dough and sponge:

  • 5 cups (600 grams) all-purpose flour mix of bread and all-purpose works too, divided use
  • 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
  • cup water or a little bit more as needed
  • 5 large eggs at room temperature
  • Zest of 1 to 2 oranges** finely grated
  • cup (68 grams) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 12 Tablespoons (170 grams) unsalted butter softened at room temperature, for making the dough
  • 1 Tablespoon (14 grams) cold unsalted butter for the top of the dough
  • Oil for greasing the bowl

For the fruit and nuts***:

  • ¾ cup mixed raisins dark and golden
  • ¼ heaping cup chopped dried apricots
  • ½ cup chopped candied orange peel or other dried fruit of choice
  • ¼ cup dark rum or a combination of spiced and dark rum
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • ½ cup slivered almonds optional but good


Day One- Make the starter

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir in 1 cup flour and 1 tablespoon instant yeast together until blended. Add the water and mix with a spoon. It should be the consistency of very thick batter. If it seems a bit too dry, add more water a little at a time.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes. The sponge should double in size.

Day One- Make the dough

  • In a bowl, whisk the remaining flour and salt together until blended.
  • Once the sponge has risen, attach the bowl to the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn the speed onto medium, then add the eggs one at a time, waiting for each to incorporate before adding the next.
  • Stop mixer for a moment and add the orange zest, sugar, and vanilla. Mix at medium speed until incorporated.
  • Turn down mixer speed to low. Gradually add about 2-1/2 cups of the flour mixture and mix for about 2 minutes, or until blended. If necessary, stop the mixer and use a spatula to scrape down the dough stuck to the sides of the bowl as it mixes. The dough will become very soft and stretchy.
  • Still on low speed, gradually add the remaining 1-1/2 cups of flour mixture just until it is incorporated.
  • Stop the mixer and switch to the dough hook. Knead on low speed for 8 minutes, or until the dough is very smooth and elastic. Stop the mixer 2 to 3 times and use the same spatula to push down any dough that creeps up on the dough hook.
  • Maintaining low speed, add butter a few tablespoons at a time. Allow butter to incorporate somewhat before adding more in. Once all the butter has been incorporated to the dough, continue to mix with the dough hook for about 3 minutes more, until the dough is silky and shiny.
  • Aim for a dough that is very soft but still sticky enough that it will just barely pull away from the sides of the bowl, but will still stick to the bottom. If the dough still seems extremely sticky, gradually add 1 to 4 Tablespoons additional flour, a tablespoon at a time.
  • With greased hands, transfer the dough to a large greased bowl. Pat into a ball and grease the top lightly with a bit of oil. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the dough. (I used a bowl with a lid and greased the lid before covering, but I ended up using plastic wrap instead because the dough kept popping the lid off as it rose.)
  • Place the dough in the fridge and leave to proof at least 8 hours, up to 2 days.

Day One- Soak the fruit

  • In a container with a lid, stir together the dried fruit, candied peel, rum, and water. Cover and soak at least overnight. (I like to give it a shake after covering, just to make sure everything is coated in liquid.)

Day Two- Finish the panettone

  • Place panettone mold or pan of choice on a baking sheet. If using a springform pan, light grease the sides and bottom of the bottom just to make sure it doesn't stick. (You may also like with parchment, but I didn't.) Drain the dried fruit mixture.
  • Take the panettone dough out of the fridge and turn out onto a floured workspace. Flour your rolling pin as well and roll dough into a flat rectangle that is approximately 12- by 15-inches. It's okay if it's not an exact measurement.
  • Spread the drained fruit and the almonds (if using) evenly over the top. Use the rolling pin to forcefully roll the fruit into the dough, embedding them in as mush as possible.
  • Fold the short sides of the fruit-covered dough toward the center into thirds, like a letter. You will end up with a rectangle of dough with a shorter side facing you. Fold the bottom half of the rectangle to meet the top, forming a square. Pat the square of dough to a thickness of about 1-1/2 inches.
  • Now form the dough into a circle. You can either lift the corners in toward the center, or push the corners down and tuck them under. Pinch the loose ends together to seal on top. Cup both hands on either side of the dough and rotate the dough little by little to shape into a round.
  • Place the dough seam side down inside the panettone mold or springform pan. (If using a tube pan, shape the dough into a thick snake.) Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until the dough reaches the top edge of the mold or has tripled in size.
  • About 30 minutes before the panettone is ready to be baked, set the oven rack to the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Once the dough has risen, use a sharp knife (or a stainless razor blade) to score a shallow cross on the top surface of the dough from edge to edge. Do not slice deeply into the dough, simply score it. Place the cold Tablespoon of butter in the center of the cross.
  • Turn the oven down to 325°F (160°C). Bake the panettone for an initial 30 minutes. Place a piece of foil loosely over the top to keep it from browning too much, then continue to bake for 35 to 45 minutes****, or until golden brown. An instant read thermometer will help to identify if the panettone is cooked through. Inserted into the center of the dough, it should register 195°F (90°C).
  • Remove panettone from the oven right away and transfer to cooling rack. Let cool completely in the paper mold before serving. (If using a springform pan, unmold once cool.)
  • Slice the bread and serve as is, or toasted, with some cheese, or butter and jam. Since this is a dessert bread, it pairs well with wine, but it also pairs well with coffee as a sweet breakfast bread. Try it with Spiced Orange Iced Coffee (recipe below)!



*You may need to adjust baking time if using springform and tube pans. I suggest lessening by 5 minutes.
**I used zest of 1 whole orange and the zest of 1 lemon. It smelled pretty amazing.
***The original recipe makes use of 1/2 cup dark raisins and 1/2 cup golden raisins. I did not have any golden raisins, which is why I decided to use apricots instead. You can use what you like or what you have (ie. dried cherries, cranberries, etc.)-- even chocolate chips, if you prefer-- as long as they total to at least 1 cup and at most 1-1/2 cups.
****If using a springform or tube pan, check the bread at the 35 minute mark.
Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes