Dec 21, 2012


OK, so I don't do dating anymore, I do panettones. I can't sleep, I dream about it, I tell somebody about my dream in my dream. All night before the big day. I finally get up, all awake, not tired at all from the lack of sleep, filled with great expectations.

And then, at 6:20 am, I'm already kneading the dough. Before my coffee. This Panettone takes all day to make. There is not much to do, mostly just hoping that the dough rises four times.

This is my third Panettone. Last year, I used the same recipe, two years ago, I don't remember. I've told  myself that I would be making it more often, because it's one of the best things there is. And it's not so hard. It's just an emotional drama you go through, the the dough going to rise?

The original, Italian recipe is beautiful, prepared with care, knowledge and experience. The list of ingredients is not complicated. Italians use their 00 flour for panettone. I planed way ahead and bought 4 kg of "farina 00" in Italy last summer. But I made the cake with regular flour before. It worked.

The cake dries out rather fast, but it keeps good. It should be consumed within a week. I keep it in a plastic bag, in a cool place, till ready to serve.

Recipe adapted from Giallo Zafferano

time: one day (mostly inactive)


120 g (1 cup, not packed) raisins
40 g (1/2 cup) orange zest
50 ml (.4 cup) rum
500 g (3 1/3 cups) flour
12 g (.4 oz) fresh yeast or 4-5 g (1 1/2 teaspoons) dry yeast
60 ml (4 Tablespoons) milk, lukewarm
165 g (3/4 cup) sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
3 yolks, room temperature
160 g (2/3 cup) butter, room temperature
5 g (1 teaspoon) salt 
lemon zest from 1 lemon, grated
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds removed


Place raisins and orange zest in a bowl with rum and enough water to cover all the fruit. After at least 30 min, strain.

You'll need: 100 g (2/3 cup) flour, 10 g (.35 oz) yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, 60-70 ml (4-5 tablespoons) milk. Sift flour in your mixing bowl. In a small bowl, crumble the yeast and dissolve it with milk and sugar. Add the yeast mix to flour and knead it with your hands to form a smooth, homogeneous dough, bread consistency. It should take about a minute or two. If you see that your dough is too stiff, add a Tablespoon of milk. Wrap the bowl with a plastic wrap and place it next to a source of heat (my radiator) for about 1 hour, till it doubles in size. Or, no matter how long, it has to double in size.

You'll need: 180 g (1 1/5 cup) flour, 2 g (.07 oz) yeast, 2 eggs, 60 g (4 tablespoons) sugar, 60 g (4 tablespoons) butter. To the dough from the first faze, add eggs and flour with crumbled yeast. Attach the bowl to your standing mixer equipped with a needle attachment. Knead the mix for about 2 minutes. Add sugarAt the end add soft (room temperature) butter. Knead the dough on medium/low speed for 5 minutes till smooth,  elastic and not sticky.  Leave the dough in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place it again next to a source of heat for about 2 hours, or till it doubles in size. The most rising is done toward the end of the 2 hours.

You'll need: 220 g (1 1/2 cup) flour, 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar, 2 eggs, 3 yolks, 5 g (1 teaspoon) salt, 100 g (7 tablespoons) butter, raisins and orange zest, vanilla bean, lemons zest. To the dough from the second faze, add eggsyolks and flour. Using a standing mixer with the hook (needle) attachment, work the dough for about 10 minutes till it becomes elastic. Add sugar and salt. When all absorbed, add butter in two dozes, then the fruit, zest and vanilla seeds. Set the dough in the bowl covered with plastic warp next to a source of heat till it doubles in volume, at least 2 hours.

Prepare your baking form. Butter it and line bottom and sides with parchment paper. The form should have a diameter of 18 cm (7 inch) and a hight of 10 cm (4 inches). Mine has the right diameter but it's too short. I line the sides with parchment paper that is 15 cm (6 inches) high.

When your dough from faze 3 is ready, transfer it on the rolling board, with some flour (additional) on it, and give it a round shape with your hands. 
Place the dough in the form, with the smoother side on top. Again, place it next to a source of heat, covered with a cotton cloth, for at least 3 hours till the dough reaches the edge of the sides (or parchment paper) of the form. Then place the dough in an airy area for about 10 - 15 minutes to form a delicate crust. 
Meanwhile...preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F, on static function. With a knife, make a big cross (the size of the cake) on top of the cake and put a cube (size of a small walnut) of butter (additional) in the center. Place the cake in the low/middle part of hot oven for 10-15 minutes, placing a small bowl with water on a shelf just below. Then lower the temperature to 190C/375F for another 10-15 minutes. If the cake is getting to dark too fast (after or before adjusting to 190C/375F), lower the temperature to 180C/350F and continue baking. The panettone should bake for a total of 1 hour. Don't be alarmed by its dark color. Take it out of the oven and let it cool.
Buone Feste!


  1. It looks so professional!Well done,dear!

    1. Thanks, Lenia. I've seen better pictures...but the cake tasted authentic. :) ela

  2. Splendid and very tempting! Nothing compares to homemade panettone.