The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.


Floydm's picture


Update December 1, 2011: for a beautiful recent Panetonne post, see MWilson's Francesco Elmi Panettone.

I've always wanted to make Panettone but never had the guts to try it. Last week I happened to be walking by a fancy kitchen gadget shop and see Panettone wrappers near the window, so I picked some up and decided to give it a shot this year.

When I got home I looked at Panettone recipes from bakers like Michael Suas, Peter Reinhart, Ciril Hitz, Bernard Clayton, and a number of others available online. The most authentic recipes called for at least two ingredients I don't have handy: fiori di sicilia, a citrus/vanilla extract traditionally added to Panettone that was discussed here, and osmotolerant yeast like SAF Gold that performs better in sweetened or acidic doughs.

What else characterizes Panetonne? Some recipe call for orange blossom water, others citrusy liqueurs. Most are made with preferments, either sourdough or yeast, and most contain nuts, either almonds or pine nuts. They all contain dried fruits, though the recommendations vary from candied lemon or orange peel to raisins to dried cherries, apricots, or cranberries. And while all the recipes were for enriched, broiche-like doughs, some were as lean as one egg and a half a stick of  butter and others as rich as nine eggs and a cup of butter.

I decided to see if I could come up with a reasonable approximation of Panettone with just the ingredients I had at home or could easily find at any old grocery store.  I also wanted to see if sourdough was necessary or at least noticeably improved the result, so I made two batches in tandem, one with a sourdough preferment, the other instant yeast (regular, not osmotolerant). I wasn't shooting for the best or most authentic recipe, just something that I could give as a holiday gift to my friends and coworkers. Here is what I came up with.

The Recipe

Makes a dozen small, 6 midsized, or 2 large loaves

6 oz (1 cup) all purpose flour
8 oz (1 cup) milk
1/4 t instant yeast OR 1 T starter

Fruit Soaker
2 cups diced dried fruit (cherries, cranberries, apricots, candied orange or lemon peel, or orange or lemon zest)
2 cups golden raisins
1 cup booze, juice, or water (I used 1/2 cup rum and 1/2 cup triple sec)

Final Dough
1 pound (3 cups) all purpose flour (plus 1 tablespoon to 1/2 cup more as necessary)
2 eggs
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
2 oz (1/3 cup) sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 cup almond slices
1 t salt
1 T instant yeast


The night before, mix up the preferment with either instant yeast or ripe sourdough starter. Cover and leave at room temperature overnight.

The next morning, mix the dried fruits with the booze or juice and let them soak a while (I'm being deliberately vague here... I let it soak for an hour or so, but anywhere from 15 minutes to 24 hours would be fine).

Make the final dough by combining the all of the ingredients for the final dough except the nuts with the preferment and the liquid from the fruit soaker (withhold the fruit for the initial mix). Mix the dough for 5 to 10 minutes by hand or with a stand mixer until it begins to get silky. Add the nuts and fruit and mix, adding additional flour as necessary to get it to a proper consistency, so that it is slightly sticky but can be handled by hand. I added approximately 1/4 cup to my initial pound of flour to get it to a consistency I was comfortable with.


Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for two to three hours. It will not rise as much as a normal dough does and probably will not double in size. After 2 and 1/2 hours in my cool house mine had risen by about 40%, which was good enough for me.

Split the dough into the necessary number of pieces you need for the loaves you want to make. Shape the dough, place them into the molds (or pans... you don't have to make the loaf in the molds but they do look festive), cover lightly and let them rise for two to three hours again.

When the dough has risen again (again, it will rise slowly and probably not double in size), put them in an oven preheated to 350. Bake until nicely browned and the internal temperature registers 185F. My little loaves took about 25 minutes to bake, my mid-sized loaves closer to 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool before slicing.

The Verdict

Did these loaves taste like authentic Panettone? Mmmm.... probably not.  But luckily none of my coworkers or family members are Panettone experts and they were all impressed and thought it tasted wonderful.  Osmotolerant yeast and fiori di sicilia may be necessary to make the real thing, but they aren't necessary to make something festive and delicious.

And sourdough versus instant yeast? I could tell that the sourdough loaves had a little more depth and a little more bite to them and they probably would have kept longer if they hadn't all gotten eaten in 36 hours, but I suspect most folks wouldn't have noticed. If you have an active starter it is worth using some of it here, but if you haven't gotten into sourdough yet don't let it stop you.  Make use of whatever you've got!



Floydm's picture

Zoe over at Artisan Bread in 5 posted her Panettone recipe today.  Her loaves came out beautiful.  You can tell which one of us is the professional (hint: not me)!

SylviaH's picture

King Arthur had a free shipping with minimum purchase and I have been wanting to make my first Panettone.  I ordered  some wrappers, even their fruit mix and candied citrus. It was given such high marks so I thought I'd give it a try. I did get some fiori di sicilia..I had some left from years ago..decided it was best to toss. 

For gift giving my thoughts are the same exactly as one's going to be that picky as long as it's fresh.  Your recipe it perfect...and I don't have to hang them upside down...I hope!  Thank you for the wonderful post..your photos are lovely and your timing was perfect and I think your Panettone's are Beautiful.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Mmmm    Thank you, Floyd!


jacobsbrook's picture

Very nice Floyd!   I have always been bit bit "afraid" of this one, but now feel like it is doable.  Just need to give it is shot. Thanks for writing this up.

jannrn's picture

Holy Cow!! That is BEAUTIFUL Floyd!! I MAY give this a only question is it written in stone that you MUST use the dry Apricots and candied fruits?? I HATE Fruitcake but love the cake that surrounds it....if that makes sense.....just can't stand the fruit....also not a huge fan of raisins....instead I tend to use craisins...and I have dried blueberries I could use too. Would that be too weird??
LOVIN' this Site!!!
Thank you!!

Floydm's picture

I don't think it'd be too weird at all.  Use whatever fruit or nuts you fancy.

jannrn's picture

No kidding...REALLY??? But will it still be considered Panettone???? I LOVE to mix orange zest and juice with Craisins in bread!!

CaptainBatard's picture

Really nice looking breads...I am going to make Pan d'oro in the next few day and was wondering about the osmotolerant yeast...Where did you come up with the ratio of SD for yeast? It is a question i have been pondering?


Floydm's picture

Um... I don't have a great answer for that.  It was a combination of what I saw being recommended in other folk's recipes and just what made sense to me.  Without osmotolerant yeast you need to give it a bit of something extra to get the necessary oomph.

CaptainBatard's picture

I am in the process of getting a stiff sweet starter going for next week...i am going to try to get it really pumped before i bake sweet doughes with it...I HOPE to try to make a panetone, a pan d'oro and a stolen in the next few days....I ordered some osmo yeast from KA to help lift it...and found some (Amish) European style butter....



JoeVa's picture

Panettone is one of the most representatives bridge between bread and pastry ... a big step for serious baker. I don't know if and when I will try to bake panettone.

You can watch a beautiful video HERE. Massimo, an italian baker, is working on panettone artigianale (he speaks italian so, if you have a particular question, I can try to translate it for you).

He uses only biga naturale without yeast (with a proper refreshment cycle) and the final dough is built in two steps using a good flour, "Farina Panettoni" a strong (~W350:400) but balanced (P/L 0.6) high gluten flour.

Good baking Floyd!


Floydm's picture

Thanks, Giovanni.  Those are beautiful.

ciabattaventi's picture

Thanks for the link to Massimo's videos. He's vwey good at breaking down the process. BTW, I'm happy to translate, too.



manicbovine's picture

Does he say the ratios of each ingredient? Also, what did he use as a glaze near the end? It looked a little different than what I've seen.



suave's picture

Try Suas' recipe some day - it's out of this world.   Re: osmotolerant yeast - compressed yeast works beatifully with these very sweet doughs but of course since it's sold for ca. $2 per cube it makes more sense to order a pound of SAF gold.

caryn's picture

I just made Peter Reinhart's version of panettone from his new book, after having made the version in his BBA last year.  I think his new version is superior:  it is much richer, and as a result it is much moister, having a great consistency.  The problem that I encountered, though, is that the dough as I measured it (filling the forms only about one third full) did not rise to the top, and I let the dough rise for more than the 12 hours called for in the recipe.  Reinhart specifies the amount to use for the large panettone form, and I also used the large panettone papers that I had gotten from KA last year.  In his BBA recipe, he calls for filling the forms half full, and as I recall, they did rise to the top. As I mentioned, the bread, itself, came out wonderfully, but I had to remove the papers, since they did not look so pretty, being so short of the top. Incidentally, the instructions were somewhat conflicting, the weight he specified for filling up the form was much less than the weight of the full recipe, which was supposed to be for one large form.

So I noticed that yours did rise nicely to the top.  How full did you fill your large papers?  And did you weigh the dough before filling, or just eye-ball it?

Maybe others can share with me their experiences.  I would appreciate it.

Floydm's picture

My little ones rose to the top, my large ones did not.  I just eyeballed it.

pjkobulnicky's picture

I just did some brioche in the round molds and here is what i found works (nicely rounded over the top) after trying to answer the how much question:

5" round mold =  500 gm

6" round mold =  750 gm

7" round mold = 1000 gm

This was for a very rich brioche but it had nothing in it. Actual rise would be affected by how much stuff you put in the dough. For a realistic panettone (just a smattering of stuff) it should be a good approximation.

caryn's picture

Thank you for your quick reply. Floyd.  I think next time, I will just fill the paper molds a bit more.

clazar123's picture

I've been debating on what to make and made up my mind when you re-posted this picture. I bought the fiori de sicilia a while ago and haven't used it yet. Time to break it out.

Happy Holidays!

breadinquito's picture

Hi everyone, here you are another link about panettone making (in italian but subtitled in english) :

Floyd your panettone looks great, but you' ll have to admit that some fruits are not the most tipical, a pitty you did not take a photo of a slice, to see the crumb...if you visit the link I send you, you' ll be able to make a sourdough panettone...happy baking from quito. Paolo

clazar123's picture

Floydm, I followed the recipe and added 2 cups diced,candied/dried fruit (I used a combo of craisins,candied orange peel and candied pineapple) and 2 cups golden raisins for a total of 4 cups. My pannetone is still rising but an observation is that the dough is very dense with fruit! It will probably be more like fruit cake in texture than pannetone but it smells absolutely wonderful! I think next time I would use 2 cups total of fruit and raisins.

Another effect of this much fruit is that it hardly rose at all. After 6 hours, I placed it in the refrigerator for an overnight rest. It rose about as much as I expected (did NOT double) and so I currently have them shaped and panned and proofing. I suspect it will be a long proof.

I wish I had planned in advance and ordered the nice pannetone papers but I found an imaginative solution already on hand-canned water chestnut cans and tuna cans (emptied and washed) and lined with homemade parchment "tulips"(more like chrysanthemums!). Your recipe,as written, made 6 water chestnut cans (200 g dough each) and 2 large tuna cans  (300 g dough) currently rising. I'll try and post some pictures later.

ehanner's picture

Did you add the hooch that the fruit was soaking in, and when?


Floydm's picture

Yes, I did add it.  Re-reading this bit, I can flush it out in a bit more detail:

Make the final dough by combining the all of the ingredients for the final dough except the nuts with the preferment and the liquid from the fruit soaker (withhold the fruit for the initial mix). Mix the dough for 5 to 10 minutes by hand or with a stand mixer until it begins to get silky. Add the nuts and fruit and mix, adding additional flour as necessary to get it to a proper consistency.


I combined the dry ingredients with the egg, butter, vanilla, preferment, AND the hooch I drained off the fruit.  I mixed the dough for 5-10 minutes then added the nuts and the soaked fruit.  The fruit had been drained but was still extremely moist, so the dough got too slack.  Thus I added more flour until it was manageable again.

Good luck!

ehanner's picture

I thought that's what you meant. Another little tip I picked up is that even though you drain the fruit, they incorporate better if you dry them after you drain the liquid. I'm thinking about the raisin breads, I've always dried the fruit on towels so they didn't make little caves around the fruit.


ehanner's picture

My batch of Panettone smelled heavenly as it baked for nearly 2 hours. I checked every 15 minutes after an hour. i divided the recipe in Floyd's post in half and loaded it in two ornamental paper buckets. It was about 1/4 to 1/3 full. I let them proof for 3.5 hours at around 80F and I did use the osmotolerant yeast. They rose slightly and did dome some where I made a cross cut and plopped a dollop of butter.

I'm pretty sure the reason it took so long to get an internal temp of 185F is that the dough was so dense.

Looking at why it didn't rise well:
I saw on the Italian site that they use only egg yokes. Sooo, I figured that 2 egg yokes would be about the same as 1 whole egg. Later I checked and I see a yoke is around 18g where the entire large egg, minus the shell is closer to 50g. I was a little short of egg product it seems.

Thinking about how the dough felt, I think it may have been a little dry. I added the egg yokes to the booze and whisked them together. I added the butter to the flour and other dry ingredients and broke it up by hand similar to making a pie crust or biscuit. Now I'm thinking maybe I should have added it after the dough was combined and partially developed, similar to a straight brioche.

I just put together a batch of mid level brioche in my old KA mixer to see how it would compare in texture. It is a very nice dough of much better quality than what I did yesterday and I have no doubt it will rise perfectly later today and would be a good base for Panettone with the fruit additions.

I should say that my wife has been noshing all morning at my mistake and thinks I'm nuts. She thinks it tastes great. It's starting to look like the first 2 Lb loaf isn't going to last the day.:>) Yes, I know you are supposed to wait a couple days to cut into it.

Any of you Panettone experts out there, I'd be happy to hear your take on my door stops.


bakerdan's picture

HI Eric--Your insights are astute and you have the scientific approach of an artisan.

I just would like to offer that sweet and rich doughs (where the butter % and the sugar % are both in excess of 20%), the internal temp of the completed bread need be only 175 degrees F.

Ciao, BakerDan

pjkobulnicky's picture

I have used Carol Field's recipe for years with moderate success. I have gotten good rise and good flavor but not so great keeping qualities.

This year i made some Brioche from the Tartine Bread book. Terrific recipe. Very easy to make in 18 hours start to finish (levan and poolish both overnight, first dough first thing in the AM, final dough and bake by noon'ish).  I also think that one could easily adapt it for a panettone by adding some flavoring (vanilla, lemon zest, etc) and some modest amount of candied peel).

Some observations:

1. Use really high glutin flour since you are working the dough very hard in the mixer and you are incorporating a LOT of butter and eggs. You want the dough to eventuallyhave a stringy consistency.

2. Do the proofs at about 72 degrees F (22C) so the butter does not melt while rising.

3. Drain and dry mascerated dried fruit or even avoid mascerated fruit all together.  This is why really good panettone uses the highest quality citrus peel that is gummy rather than hard. Same with raisins and sultanas.


bakerdan's picture

A shout-out to pj and his comments on authentic panettone--as made the Milanese manner.  As a Council Member for Slow Foods International, I had the good luck to sit on a panettone tasting panel with five of the best artisan bakers from Milan and Torino region.  It's difficult to find two bakers who agree on anything, so I took notes when all five of the finalists agreed with 1) high gluten (in U.S., about 12-13%), 2) ambient temp being 20-22Cent., and 3) gummy fruit that assimilates liquour or fruit juice, not hard fruit pieces that need to be softened and then become pasty in the bread.

Ciao, tutti!


Baker Dan.

bakinginQuito's picture

Hi Floyd, must say complimenti for your first panettone but not for stating that a traditional panettone milanese calls cherries, cranberries or apricots in the dough....really's a bit like when you call pizza a dough baked in the oven with pineapple or peaches as ingredients.....under that point of view i'm quite "conservative", nevertheless I respect your final product. Cheers from Quito

century's picture

Can you do an overnight final rise for these?
If so, fridge or room temp?

bakerdan's picture

Final rising of the shaped panettones can be done overnight, yes.


Because the dough is rich and because it also is dense with solids, a 45 minute rising at 75 degree-80degrees should precede the refrigerated rise.

This opens the crumb of the bread. As a result, it chills more evenly and comes to proper baking temp (60-80 dgress) more evenly.

You must allow the proofed panettone to temper at ambient temp before baking it. Also, there will be some additional rising while this takes place.

Covering the whole time?  Well, if you brush the crown of the dough with cooled melted butter before you begin the final rise, no additional cover is required in the refrigeerator or out. (All of this from How To Bake Bread by Michael Kalanty, by the way.)


embth's picture

I am very happy that this recipe has been featured on TFL as it gave me the courage to try making panettone.  Two loaves are sitting on my counter, one a bit "sampled", as I type.   I am very pleased with the result.   The texture and flavor of the crumb is excellent.   I must admit, that opinion is based on tasting imported panettone from cardboard boxes.   My family emmigrated from southern Italy so panettone was not a family tradition.   I could not find the proper paper wrappers for my panettone locally, so  I used parchment paper and cake pans as shown in Reinhart's BBA.   My cake pans were too wide for the amount of dough, so the shape of the loaves could be better.  Next time, I will plan ahead and order the wrappers so the loaves are more typically shaped.

I  watched a few of the Italian videos which were very helpful.  I know enough Italian to understand most of the instructions.  Does anyone know the ingredients in the glaze that was used by Massimo?   It looked quite substantial.  

I soaked the fruit bits in a cheap Amaretto and saved the DiSaronno for the baker.  : )

Ciao e Buon Natale

mwilson's picture

7.50g 18.75% Sweet almond raw
2.50g 6.25% Kernels (Bitter Almonds)
5.00g 12.50% Hazelnuts
40.00g 100.00% Sugar
1.00g 2.50% Cocoa powder
1.00g 2.50% Maize flour
1.00g 2.50% Potato Starch
15.00g 37.50% Albumen

Add the egg white in stages to the dry ingredients until the mixture is a thick paste. You don't want it to be runny. add whole almomds and nib sugar ontop and finally dust with icing (powdered) sugar.

embth's picture

Thank you for the recipe, MWilson.  Just one more question, if I may.   Are the egg whites whipped or just lightly beaten? In the video the glaze did look almost meringue like.  Next year I may try to glaze the loaves.  The crust is not very attractive when it is a bit soft and wrinkled.  I have seen commercial panettone with the same appearance.  So, I can see that a hard glaze would improved the appearance of the bread.

I am unlikely to bake panettone again until next December so there is no urgency to my question.    (Actually I am tempted to make more panettone, but my other half is threatening to chain and padlock my oven door.   My holiday baking has been prolific.  Thank God, there are guests coming tomorrow.)                                                        Happy Holidays!

mwilson's picture

You don't have to treat it like meringue. I beat the whites a little, only to break up their viscousity. If you don't it's very difficult to add just enough to get the right consistency.

You can see it being made in this video.

joaninha's picture

Chiming in a little late, wanted to share my recent panetonne experience adapting recipes and baking techniques with good results.  Short on time, my search for the traditional candied citrus peels turned up only horrific prices at Pike Place Market here in Seattle: about $30/pound!!  So I used a combo of  candied diced pears ( from the Spanish Table) , craisins, and golden raisins, all soaked in rum per Joy of Cooking recipe.

Also due to time factor, researched recipes for any quicker versions. Due to a health condition, I always use bread machine ( Hitachi)  to mix & knead doughs.  KAF recipe emphasized need to use a biga to retain moisture & freshness, plus advsied mxing in bread machine or uisng a mixer.  While I usally let doughs rise in the machine, was not sure if it could handle the volume, plus longer rising time for panetonne dough. And I tried out a new-to-me recipe for a lowfat version , found on the web via published in a Honolulu newspaper: Make panetonne yourself for less guilt, which includes the nutrition analysis of this recipe and tradtional panetonnes. 


I increased recipe to 1.5 amount, used 2T butter + 1T canola oil, and whole wheat pastry flour instead of ww flour per recipe. For baking, since I no longer have any coffee cans, I took KAF suggestion to let rise & bake in a tube pan, and baked the smaller on in a souffle dish. .Next time I would  decrease volume of dough for tbe pan and increase that for  souffle dish, as the recipe had significant oven spring.

Came out great!

clazar123's picture

I just made this recipe (for the second time only). The first time, I know it seemed like there was a lot of fruit and my dough didn't turn out the best.  Well, 5 yrs later, I made this recipe again but this time brought some experience with me. I did reduce the fruit to 2 cups total (it was 4 cups with the 2 c raisins).

However, the main difference was knowing how to make a good dough.I mixed it to just a shaggy state and just let it sit for 10 minutes before resuming mixing. This allowed the flour to hydrate properly and it was easier to see if I needed additional flour , as Floyd suggested. I did and if I make this again, I am going to start nailing down the amounts in grams. This is a rich, sticky, very fragrant dough and the gluten needs to be properly developed.  The key is to mix to windowpane before adding the fruit and nuts.

The dough is rising now and it is a very lovely dough. I used Orange Flower water instead of vanilla and my fruit mix was candied orange peel,candied citron,candied pineapple,craisins,golden raisins and dried apricots. I soaked all in brandy/applejuice for about an hour and I did use the liquid in the dough. I can't wait to see how this turns out.

Thank you, Floyd! Happy Holidays!

clazar123's picture


This dough came together so beautifully but I had NO idea how active it was.I used a sourdough starter in the preferment and 1 tsp of osmotolerant yeast in the final dough (I needed to produce these quickly as I wasn't able to bake until Christmas Eve).  I filled the can to about the 1/3 mark and had parchment paper lining (sides and bottom) that extended up-good thing! I thought the dough would rise to about 1 " above the can lip at most. My previous experience (only 1 bake) supported  that.

So this dough quadrupled itself and tended to deflate when cooled.I had not made any provision for hanging so I removed them from the can, still in the parchment paper, and just kept rolling them the first hour so it didn't flatten. No crumb shot as they haven't been sliced into yet but they smell heavenly. I can only imagine they taste delicious.

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to all-whatever you celebrate. I take time at this time of year to count all the wonderful things in my life and TFL and the world it represents is one of my many blessings. Thank you, everyone for the humanity and kindness you give to anyone and everyone that posts here. Thank you,Floyd and company for all your wonderful work on this site.

cslazar (Caroline)