Perfect Panettone For Christmas

5/5 - (1 vote)

This wonderful recipe presents a Perfect Panettone for Christmas. Panettone a beloved Italian bread, utilises a nicely enriched dough. The classic version incorporates raisins (or sultanas) and citrus peels. Though nowadays, nuts or chocolate, etc., are often added. This recipe adheres to the classic flavours. For me they evoke the feeling of Christma. Panettone isoften enjoyed by Italians with sweet wine after dinner on Christmas Eve. They enjoy it too for breakfast on Christmas Day.

Perfect Panettone For Christmas

From the outset, let me mention that the recipe takes a long time to make. Indeed some versions take up to 3 days. For this panettone, the process spans all day. Though it can go into the following day. However most of that time involves waiting.

There are several different stages:

Starter Dough

The starter dough is a simple mixture of flour, yeast, sugar, and water. It isleft to proof until it becomes very frothy and triples in size. I use Canadian bread flour with 15% protein for this recipe. The recipe needs a strong bread flour, for structure.

First Dough

The First dough incorporates the starter dough. To that is added flour, water, eggs, sugar, and butter. After mixing we knead the dough to achieve a fairly smooth and sticky dough. It is left to proof until doubled in size. That takes an hour or so. However the time depends on room temperature.

Second Dough

The Second dough incorporates the first dough with other ingredients. They are egg, butter, sugar and flour. Aromatics (zest of orange, lemon, and tangerine, honey, and vanilla) flavours the dough. Folding in raisins, and chopped mixed peel, completes the ingredients.. We knead the second dough until it is stretchy and smooth, though still quite sticky.

Shape & Proof

Then it rests for an hour. During that hour we fold the dough every 20 minutes, to incorporate structure. After that we shape the panettone into a round. The shaped dough is then placed into a panettone mould to rise. If you don’t have a panettone mould you can use a cake pan and line it with parchment paper that comes up above the rim of the pan. A 7inch/18cm pan is great. However a larger pan will work too, though the panettone will not be so tall.

Bake & Cool The Panettone

Panettone For Christmas
Panettone in the oven

When the dough has risen to the top of the mould, it is baked for about 50 minutes. The panettone is hung upside down using skewers until it cools.

While this explanation is quite simple, more details are provided in the recipe below. The baked panettone rises well above the mould, skewering it is easy, and it is left to cool upside down for about 4 hours.

My Panettone

Perfect Panettone For Christmas

Slicing into the panettone reveals a light and fluffy dough with a lovely aroma. Tasting it is a delightful experience, full of flavour with the great aromatics in the enriched dough and the perfect soft texture with raisins and peel.

Another great a recipe for Christmas is Vanilla Yule Log.

Perfect Panettone For Christmas

Recipe by geoffcooCourse: Bread, ChristmasCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




  • Starter Dough
  • 60g(6 tbsp+1 tsp) Canadian Bread Flour – see note below

  • 80ml(1/3 cup) water

  • 4.5g(1 1/4 tsp) instant yeast

  • 10g(2 tsp) caster sugar

  • First Dough
  • 1 Starter dough

  • 260g(1 2/3 cups + 1 tbsp) Canadian Bread Flour

  • 70ml(1/4 cup+ 2 tsp) water

  • 80g(6 tbsp+1 tsp) caster sugar

  • 60g(1/4 cup+1 tsp) softened unsalted butter

  • 1 medium egg(large in USA)

  • Second Dough
  • 1 First Dough

  • 1 Aromatics

  • 120g(2/3 cup+2 tbsp) Canadian Bread Flour

  • 60g(1/4 cup+ 1 tsp) softened unsalted butter

  • 60g(1/4 cup + 2 tsp) caster sugar

  • 1 medium egg (large in USA)

  • 1 medium egg yolk(large in USA)

  • 70g(1/2 cup) chopped mixed peel

  • 70g(1/3 cup) raisins (soaked, drained and patted dry)

  • Aromatics
  • grated zest from one orange

  • grated zest from one lemon

  • grated zest from one tangerine

  • 5ml(1 tsp) vanilla extract

  • 22ml(1 1/2 tbsp) honey


  • To make the starter dough mix the water, flour, yeast and sugar together into a smooth batter.
  • Cover the batter with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place until it is frothy and has tripled in size. This might take 30 minute, an hour or even longer depending on room temperature.
  • Place the starter dough into the bowl of a stand mixer with the egg, sugar and water for the first dough.
  • Mix until fully combined.
  • Add the flour and mix again, to a shaggy dough.
  • Slowly add the butter and mix until fully combined each time.
  • Continue mixing until the dough is soft and smooth, and is coming away from the sides of the bowl.
  • The dough will be sticky but form into a rough ball and cover with plastic wrap and leave to proof, in a warm place, until is has doubled in size.
  • Mix the 3 zests with the vanilla extract and honey to create the aromatics, then set aside.
  • Whisk the butter and sugar together until smooth.
  • Mix in the egg and egg yolk and mix to combine.
  • Stir in the aromatics as well.
  • Add the flour and mix into a dough/paste.
  • Put that paste into the mixer bowl with the first dough and knead until fully combined and very stretchy, but still sticky. This is likely to take about 12 minutes to form the stretch gluten structure.
  • Add the raisins and chopped mixed peel and mix until evenly distributed.
  • Form the dough into a ball and cover for an hour.
  • After 20 minutes grease your hands and uncover the dough then fold it over on itself about 4 times. Cover and repeat again after another 20 minutes, then cover again.
  • After an hour turn the dough onto a buttered surface, do another four folds as before and then shape the dough into a ball.
  • Carefully place the dough into a panettone mold( or in a cake pan lined with parchment paper that comes above the rim of the pan).
  • Cover the mould loosely with plastic wrap and leave the dough to rise, in a warm place, until it reaches the top of the mould. This will take several hours(mine took just about 5 hours).
  • Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/320F.
  • Cut a cross into the top of the dough, about 1/4 inch deep, and dot with a little butter.
  • Place the panettone into the oven and bake for 50 minutes, until the dough rises well and browns on the top. If it seems to brown too quickly you can loosely cover with aluminium foil part way through baking.
  • Remove the baked panettone from the over and poke two skewers through, level with each other, about an inch from the bottom.
  • Carefully turn the panettone over and place into a large pan, using the skewers to hold it upside down, until it has cooled completely. You can hang it upside down using jars or something instead of a large pan.
  • After the panettone has cooled turn it up the right way and remove the skewers. Wrap it in a cellophane bag, or similar, until needed.


  • Canadian Bread Flour has about 15% protein. If you don’t have such a flour use one with at least 11% protein. The more the better really.


  1. Wow…. I hope you managed to get in a nap or two during this bake Geoff ! That is one long day.
    However, may I say the bread looks wonderful… I’ve only ever made one in the past…. long past …. maybe I should give another one a try. … some day down the road.

    Thanks again for all the bakes you share with us….

    • Hi Veronica. Oh yes I am a past master at napping. In fact I start to fret if I don’t get one. Panettone is something that is well worth the effort. Though I enjoyed buying and tasting one, I preferred the homemade version.

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