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Makes 1 panettone

A Christmas classic in Italian households and elsewhere, the light, sweet texture of Panettone makes this bread, which is typically suspended upside down for cooling, more of a cake. Panettone makes a great seasonal alternative, at the opposite end of the scale to traditional rich fruit cakes. Start the night before you want to make your panettone and for best results, keep the kitchen nice and warm and draft-free. Wrap panettone in tin foil and keep in a tin for about a week. When the festivities are over use any remaining Panettone to make a delicious Panettone bread and butter pudding.

Free from Soya, Nuts


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Panettone 1st Dough

  1. Put the wholemeal flour, yeast, and milk into a bowl, stir to combine.
  2. Cover with a large upturned mixing bowl and set aside to make a thick lightly spongy and bubbly paste, for about 2 hours.

Panettone 2nd Dough

  1. Finely grate the orange rind into a large mixing bowl, pour on the orange juice and vanilla extract and beat together well.
  2. Add the flour and 1st dough and stir to make a sticky dough.
  3. Continue stirring with a spoon, or with your hands, until the dough has turned in the bowl for 100 presses, without adding flour.
  4. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place, for 8 hours or overnight, to double in size and have a spongy appearance.

Panettone 3rd Dough

  1. Put the white flour and butter into a clean mixing bowl and using a fork or a pastry blender, work them together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Tip this into the bowl containing the 2nd
  3. Break the egg into a bowl, beat well and add it to the 2nd dough.
  4. Mix everything together to make a dough.
  5. Gather the dough and knead it in the bowl with your hands or with a spoon for 100 presses without adding further flour.
  6. Cover with a large upturned mixing bowl and leave in a warm place to double in size, about 4-6 hours.

Panettone 4th Dough

  1. Line the base and sides of a 15cm/6” deep, round, loose bottom cake tin with a double layer of parchment or greaseproof paper which is 15cm/6” tall.
  2. Add the sugar, mixed peel and sultanas to the 3rd dough and knead it in the bowl for 100 presses without adding flour.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball and put it into the prepared cake tin, pressing any fruit on the surface into the dough.
  4. Cover with a large upturned mixing bowl and leave until the dough has trebled in size and is taller than the tin, about 3-6 hours.
  5. Adjust your oven shelves so that the panettone fits in easily and pre-heat the oven.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes.

Cooling The Panettone

  1. Take the panettone out of the oven and leave it in the tin for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Gently turn the panettone out of its tin so that it is on its side on the work surface and remove the parchment.
  3. Insert two BBQ sticks into the side of the panettone, halfway between the top and bottom of the panettone and 75mm/3” apart.
  4. Gently turn the panettone onto its base and push the BBQ sticks through so the panettone is in the middle of the sticks.
  5. Place the cake tin, without its base, over the panettone so that it rests on the BBQ sticks.
  6. Gently turn the panettone over so the cake is hanging upside down in the tin, suspended on the BBQ sticks.
  7. Leave to hang in this position until quite cold.
  8. When cold, wrap in tin foil and store in a tin.
  9. Before serving sieve a teaspoon of icing sugar over the top.


15cm/6” deep round loose bottom cake tin, parchment paper or a paper panettone case, 2 x BBQ stick or metal skewers and mixing bowl.


190°C, Fan 170°C, 375°F, Gas 5

Cooking time

40-45 minutes
I’m used to making slow rise sourdough bread so I thought I’d have a go. Sadly it didn’t rise to the soft springy texture you would expect (I would have expected similar to Portuguese sweet bread which I have made successfully before). It’s difficult to know what went wrong. It was bubbling away during the start of the 4th prove, then seemed to stop and not rise any more. Maybe it was over-proven and the yeast exhausted from the third rise? Maybe the yeast was inhibited by the high sugar? Maybe it was the fault of the recipe? I don’t know. However, the flavour is excellent, it’s not over sweet and I still have a lovely soft springy bread I can eat (just not a Panettone).
By Nicky
23 Dec 2019

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