Make Perfect Italian Panettone dough in your bread machine, then bake it in the oven for professional results in your own kitchen!
What is Panettone?
Panettone is a traditional Italian yeast cake which is made and eaten at Christmastime.
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To me, it’s a cross between a cake and bread, and isn’t very sweet at all. There are different kinds, but they are always lightly sweetened and usually, dotted with candied fruit, raisins, and sometimes nuts and more recently, chocolate.
Purchased panettoni are always baked in a special paper case, and you can buy them to make your own professional looking cakes at home. However, there’s no need to buy anything as long as you have a brown paper lunch bag. (If you want to make them look fancy, you can buy these on Amazon.)
Years ago, I wanted to make my own panettone and adapted a recipe from my Sunset Fresh Ways with Italian Cooking cookbook and made it in my bread machine. I only made the dough in the machine though, as I didn’t want a “bread-machine-shaped panettone”!
The recipe was for a Venetian-style panettone, which are taller and more thin than other panettoni. It included directions for using a brown paper lunch bag for the panettone to rise and bake in–I had to try it! It worked great and was a very good recipe, so it’s the one I always make now, however, I don’t like candied peel or almonds in my panettone, so I omitted them and used raisins and sultanas, instead.
You can choose to add whatever you like, as I said, chocolate pieces or chips have made their way into panettoni nowadays. If you don’t finish it off in a few days, perfect Italian panettone makes the best bread and butter pudding! Cut it into chunks and dry it off in the oven (or even in the toaster, before you cut it up into pieces). Here is one of my recipes, if you’d like to try it, but I have a few others, too.
As always, I highly recommend using a scale when baking for best results.
Perfect Italian Panettone
Adapted from Sunset’s Fresh Ways with Italian Cooking
- 6 oz warm water (about 110°F/43°C)
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 c (4 oz) sugar
- 1 tsp each of lemon and orange rind (preferably from organic fruit)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 c (4 oz) good quality unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
- 3 1/4 cups (1 lb) organic, unbleached flour
- 1/4 oz (7g) or 1 pkg dry yeast (preferably for bread machines, but any type will work; I used regular)
- 1/2 c sultanas
- 1/2 c raisins
- 1 egg white, slightly beaten
- 4 crushed sugar cubes, crushed Belgian pearl sugar or Swedish pearl sugar
Place the water, egg yolks, vanilla, and grated peel into the bread machine first. Next add the sugar, salt, flour and pieces of butter around the outside of the metal pan on top of the flour (see photo below). Make an indentation in the flour and add the yeast. Start the bread machine on “dough” setting.
When the machine beeps to add additional ingredients to the dough, toss in the sultanas and raisins, and allow the cycle to finish. Keep an eye on the dough after it’s finished and allow to rise until doubled in size. (Alternatively, you can remove the dough and put it in a large sealed container and allow to rise in the refrigerator overnight.)
How to Make a Baking Case for Panettone Using a Lunch Bag
- Cut a circle of parchment paper to line the bottom of the 6″ pan; butter or spray the circle of paper and place it in the bottom of the pan.
- Cut another piece of parchment to line the inside of the brown paper bag (so the bread will bake inside parchment without touching the brown paper) after you have cut the bottom out of the bag.
- Fold the top edge down to form a cuff then butter or spray (I used a coconut oil spray as it’s much easier than using butter) the inside of the parchment. It should be about 6.5″ tall when finished.
- Place the paper case in the pan.
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and knead into a ball then place it into the pan/paper case and allow to rise until almost doubled. Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.
While the oven is heating, brush the top of the panettone dough with the beaten egg white and sprinkle with the crushed sugar cubes.
Bake for 30 minutes. Then reduce heat to 325°F/160°C and continue to bake until a long, thin skewer comes out clean (about another half an hour). If the top browns too quickly, cover with aluminum foil. Remove the perfect Italian panettone from the oven and allow to cool in pan for about 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove the panettone from the pan (my bag slipped right off). Place on rack until completely cool.
Finally, you can cut your perfect Italian panettone into tall slices and serve.
Now you can add perfect Italian panettone to your list of “things I’ve baked”! Isn’t it impressive?
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Make the dough. Prepare the pan/baking case: Shape the dough
Make the dough.
Prepare the pan/baking case:
Shape the dough
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