Annika Eats

Homemade Panettone

A fluffy, aromatic bread that is rich in dried fruit, citrus, butter, eggs and sugar. This traditional Italian baked good is a labor of love but a good baking project. 

I am not here to take tradition away from the Italians. I am also not here to say that this panettone recipe is anything close to tradition. But I am here to say that I found this recipe many years ago and it said “happy baking for years to come” and I had not made a panettone recipe before. I had eaten many but did not dare make one on my own as it does require a lot of effort. But I since then I have tweaked the recipe and made it a tradition to enjoy baking this during the festive season to keep the spirit of baking going and it allows me to slow down. I will break down this recipe for you to make at home so it is still delicious but easier. 

What ingredients do you need to make this Homemade Panettone?

We need flour, I have used bread flour and it does give the best results. I have tried making this recipe with all purpose flour and it is still yummy but doesn’t grow as much as it should since the gluten content in all purpose flour is much lesser, you could use a mixture of both the flours as it will still be good. I used instant dry yeast you could use active dry yeast as well. If you are using fresh yeast make sure to half the amount of yeast based on the recipe requirements. 

As for liquid we need buttermilk and milk. I have made this with homemade buttermilk and it works fine. But make sure the milk/buttermilk is full fat. This is an indulgent recipe so don’t cut corners as every bit counts. If you want to make buttermilk at home, mix 1 cup full fat milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Let this sit for a few minutes until it starts to split. It will get thicker

The recipe is a rich bread/cake which means we need butter, eggs and sugar. Ideally panettone calls for egg yolks and that gives it the golden yellow color but I have used whole eggs however while using egg yolks the bread is softer and fluffier not to mention more yellow in color. There are to types of sugar used here, castor or superfine sugar that goes into the dough and pearl sugar or crushed sugar cubes that is sprinkled on top of the panettone before baking. The sugar on top gives it that crust as it bakes and also holds its shape. 

Flavorings are a personal preference but I have used vanilla bean paste, orange and lemon zest you could use essential oils if you have them. In reference to add ins I added my soaked Christmas fruit what was hydrated in brandy. You can use any dried fruit you have but it must be soaked in some liquid until they are plump, this should take around 30 mins or so. 

What equipment do you need to make this Homemade Panettone?

I have used a stand mixer to make this recipe. You can use an electric hand beater to make this as well, using the dough hook. I would recommend using a machine and not doing this by hand for a couple of reasons. If you make this by hand it will require a lot of elbow grease to knead this dough together. It can be a little sticky which makes it tricky to handle for a new bread baker. Also as we knead the butter into the dough, it will start to melt and we want to maintain the temperature of the dough and keep it cool as much as possible since there are eggs in it. Hence if we use a machine it made the kneading easier and the warmth of your hands will not melt the butter and heat the dough while kneading. 

We will also need a dough scraper or knife to portion the dough. A 9inch baking tin or panettone paper liners. A brush to line the tin with butter and to brush the top with beaten egg and cream. Once the panettone is baked we need to hang it upside down to ensure it doesn’t fall on itself as it cools. I like doing this using two metal kebab skewers and turning it upside down suspended on two objects. We have to make sure the panettone is not touching the platform as this will ensure the panettone holds its shape as it cools. 

How to make this Homemade Panettone?

Step 1:

Mix buttermilk, yeast, 180gm bread flour together in your mixing bowl and set aside for 1 hour. The time will depend based on how warm your kitchen is. It might take 2 hours as well, we want the mixture to double in volume. 

Step 2:

In the same bowl add the remaining 220gm bread flour and 3 whole eggs or 6 large egg yolks. Mix this together well. Ensure all the ingredients are well combined. This will take at least 5-8 mins in your stand mixer. Scrape down the mixture every now and then. 

Step 3:

Add the sugar, salt, lemon zest, orange zest, vanilla paste, and mix well. 

Step 4:

Add the butter into the dough slowly while mixing on low. Let the butter get incorporated into dough gradually. Once all the butter is added, mix the dough for 5 – 8 mins until smooth and silky. 

Step 5:

Add the soaked dried fruit into the dough and mix on low. We don’t want the fruit to disintegrate so mix it gently until the dough has incorporated the fruit well. If the dough is not incorporating the fruit, stop the machine and let the dough relax for a few minutes before continuing. 

Step 6: 

Once all the fruit is encased in the dough let it rest for 2 hours covered at room temperature, we want this to double up in volume. It can take 1 hour or 4 hours, depending on the warmth of the kitchen. 

Step 7:

After the dough is doubled, we spread out the dough on a clean kitchen surface and slowly stretch and fold the dough by folding all the corners into the center. Form a ball and cover on the counter and let it sit for 15 minutes. At this stage you can repeat this process 2-3 times to trap more air into the dough. Or leave it to rise for 15 mins. 

Step 8:

Transfer the dough into a panettone mould or a lined 9inch round tin that is brushed with butter and baking paper. Let this rise for 1-2 hours until doubled in size. 

Step 9:

Brush the top of the panettone with egg wash and sprinkle over the pearl sugar, generously. 

Step 10:

Preheat the oven to 170℃, this should be done for at least 20 minutes before baking. Bake the panettone for 15 minutes at 170℃ and reduce the heat to 150℃, bake it for 30-40 mins until the top is golden, the bread has risen. The internal temperature should be 79℃ (you can use a thermometer to make sure this is the case).

Step 11:

Once the panettone is baked pierce the bottom with a metal kebab skewer. And let the panettone hang upside down overnight to cool down completely. If you are baking it in a 9inch round tin, remove the panettone from the tin and then poke with the metal skewer and hang upside down, ideally with the baking paper. 

Step 12:

After the panettone has cooled down, remove it from the baking paper and take out the skewers. Slice and serve with coffee and enjoy. 

How to store this Homemade Panettone?

I store the panettone at room temperature by wrapping it in cling wrap and then in a piece of foil. This keeps it fresh. Leave it at room temperature or transfer to the fridge if you will be storing it longer than 1 week. I have frozen slices in zip lock bags for a couple of weeks and warmed it up in the microwave when needed. 

You can use this to make French toast, bread pudding, sandwiches etc. Now that we have covered how to make this Homemade Panettone, you can have a look at the recipe video on my socials but let’s get to it. Don’t forget to follow along for more holiday baking recipe inspiration. 

If you try this recipe out, don’t forget to share it with me on instagram so I can see how it turned out. I’d love nothing more than to chat with you on your cooking/baking.                              

Homemade Panettone

A fluffy, aromatic bread that is rich in dried fruit, citrus, butter, eggs and sugar. This traditional Italian baked good is a labor of love but a good baking project.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Proofing Time 6 hrs
Course Bread, Breakfast, Brunch, Celebration, High Tea, Party, Sweet tooth, tea time
Cuisine Italian
Servings 10 people

Equipment

  • Stand mixer
  • Scraper
  • Brush
  • Baking paper
  • 9inch round tin

Ingredients
  

  • 200 ml Buttermilk check notes
  • 15 gm Instant dry yeast
  • 400 gm Bread flour
  • 3 Whole eggs
  • 90 gm Castor sugar
  • 10 gm Salt
  • 1 Orange zest
  • 1 Lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla paste
  • 90 gm Butter soft
  • 150 gm Dried fruit check notes
  • Egg wash
  • Pearl sugar

Instructions
 

  • Mix buttermilk, yeast, 180gm bread flour together in your mixing bowl and set aside for 1 hour. The time will depend based on how warm your kitchen is. It might take 2 hours as well, we want the mixture to double in volume.
  • In the same bowl add the remaining 220gm bread flour and 3 whole eggs or 6 large egg yolks. Mix this together well. Ensure all the ingredients are well combined. This will take at least 5-8 mins in your stand mixer. Scrape down the mixture every now and then.
  • Add the sugar, salt, lemon zest, orange zest, vanilla paste, and mix well.
  • Add the butter into the dough slowly while mixing on low. Let the butter get incorporated into dough gradually. Once all the butter is added, mix the dough for 5 - 8 mins until smooth and silky.
  • Add the soaked dried fruit into the dough and mix on low. We don’t want the fruit to disintegrate so mix it gently until the dough has incorporated the fruit well. If the dough is not incorporating the fruit, stop the machine and let the dough relax for a few minutes before continuing.
  • Once all the fruit is encased in the dough let it rest for 2 hours covered at room temperature, we want this to double up in volume. It can take 1 hour or 4 hours, depending on the warmth of the kitchen.
  • After the dough is doubled, we spread out the dough on a clean kitchen surface and slowly stretch and fold the dough by folding all the corners into the center. Form a ball and cover on the counter and let it sit for 15 minutes. At this stage you can repeat this process 2-3 times to trap more air into the dough.
  • Transfer the dough into a panettone mould or a lined 9inch round tin that is brushed with butter and baking paper. Let this rise for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
  • Brush the top of the panettone with egg wash and sprinkle over the pearl sugar, generously.
  • Preheat the oven to 170℃, this should be done for at least 20 minutes before baking. Bake the panettone for 15 minutes at 170℃ and reduce the heat to 150℃, bake it for 30-40 mins until the top is golden, the bread has risen. The internal temperature should be 79℃ (you can use a thermometer to make sure this is the case).
  • Once the panettone is baked pierce the bottom with a metal kebab skewer. And let the panettone hang upside down overnight to cool down completely. If you are baking it in a 9inch round tin, remove the panettone from the tin and then poke with the metal skewer and hang upside down, ideally with the baking paper.
  • After the panettone has cooled down, remove it from the baking paper and take out the skewers. Slice and serve with coffee and enjoy.

Notes

  • How to make buttermilk at home - If you want to make buttermilk at home, mix 1 cup full fat milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Let this sit for a few minutes until it starts to split. It will get thicker
  • Soaked dried fruit - Check out my soaked Christmas fruit what was hydrated in brandy. You can use any dried fruit you have but it must be soaked in some liquid until they are plump, this should take around 30 mins or so.
  • Flour - You can use a combination of all purpose and bread flour. Or use all purpose flour as well but this will not give the best texture.

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