The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ciril Hitz's Panettone

bshuval's picture

Ciril Hitz's Panettone

Hi all, 

I want to make Ciril Hitz's panettone (from his book "Baking Artisan Pastries and Bread") for a dinner party. I want to make small individual panettone, and I have bought the paper cups and all the ingredients as well. I have a few questions: 

1. Can I make them a day or two ahead? The dinner party I am hosting is on a work day, and  I will only have a couple of hours at home before the guests arrive -- not enough time to start making them. I was thinking of baking them either the day before or a couple of days before, but I don't know how they'll keep.

2. The other thought I had was to make the dough the day before, let it proof for an hour or so at room temperature, and then retard in the fridge overnight. Hopefully, the dough will have risen, and I will bake the panettone straight from the fridge. That said, however, I don't want to take any chances... so I was wondering if anyone had tried it before.

3. I have never made Hitz's panettone before. If anyone here had made it, I'd love to hear reviews and/or tips or tricks.

4. As an alternative, I was looking at the panettone recipe in Reinhart's new book as well. It struck me as interesting because it requires a 12-hour rise at room temperature, which could fit the bill well. I don't know how many little panettone it will make, though, nor do I know if Reinhart's recipe is any good (and how it compares to Hitz's). If anyone can shed some light here, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks for any help!

Boboshempy's picture

Hey bshuval,

Fresh Panettone is awesome for a dinner party.

I have never made Ciril Hitz's Panettone, but I have made two different PR recipes and they leave something to be desired. No Panettone recipe compares to Jim Lahey's "Best Ever Panettone", from the December 2008 issue of Gourmet. It is foolproof and comes out great. It is super easy to make, it just requires a lot of sitting, 15hr fermentation and a 5hr proof. I have made about 8 large Panettone and 24 individual ones for this past Christmas using this recipe.

Here is the recipe:

To answer your questions, you can definitely make them ahead a time. I would suggest doing the mixing and 15hr overnight fermentation over Saturday night and then the 5hr proof and baking on Sunday so they will be ready for your weeknight party. Just make sure you wrap them air-tight in plastic. The small loaves can dry out and get hard as a rock in about two weeks but the large loaves stay well for a while wrapped, actually there is pretty much no change in it from the third day to the 14th day, if you don't eat it by then. If you pop them in the microwave for a couple of seconds they are like they just came out of the oven too.

I am obsessed with Panettone so if you have any more questions feel free to ask.


bshuval's picture

How many little panettone will one batch of Lahey's recipe make? And a related question: how much dough should I put in each little mold (1/2 full? 1/3 full?). 

My dinner party is on a Thursday night. You are suggesting that I bake them over the weekend and then just hold them at room temperature, right? (During the week the timings are a little difficult; I get up around 6:00 AM, and get back home no earlier than 5:30 PM or so. So it's hard to manage the 15 hours first rise + 5 hours second rise. On the weekend it is much simpler... I can ferment the dough overnight and then the next day bake at around noon or so). 

In your experience, are the rising times pretty-much precise? (My kitchen is around 65 degrees these days, which is a little on the cool side). 

Do you mix the dough with the dough hook or the paddle? The whole description with the vanilla bean sounds very strange to me. I have never left a vanilla inside dough while it was fermenting. 

How long do you bake the small panettone for? I have never made panettone before, and I don't want to overbake them. 

If you have some pictures of the completed panettone (especially of the crumb!), that would be fantastic. 



Boboshempy's picture


I'm sorry it took me forever to get back to you.  Did you get to try out making the Panettone?  I am making Panettone this weekend and it reminged me to check back on this post.


MontBaybaker's picture

Again, I am way behind in starting to research new breads on my wish list.  Does somebody have the ability to post this recipe?  The 2010 link no longer works, and I don't have his book.  Thanks!  

suave's picture

It's not in the book.  The original recipe was published in Gourmet some 10 years ago.  It was also  posted on his website but is not longer available.  I have a saved link to a blog which has the recipe, supposedly it's exactly what was published.  I've never got around to try it myself - there're so many panettone recipes and just one little me.  FWIW, I've heard that it's a bit meh.