Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Babes Bake Italian


It's the 16th and our wonderful Kitchen of the Month, Judy of Judy's Gross Eats has challenged us to bake a seasonal favorite, panettone, an Italian sweet bread that rises high and has dried fruit and candied peel in most variations.

My version is based on the recipe that Judy gave us, one where the panettone is baked in a 2-quart straight sided saucepan! It worked really well and if you do it this way you don't have to hang it upside down as it cools as often happens with the paper molds. I did line it with parchment paper to make it easy to release from the pot.

For the fruit I used dried golden raisins, candied orange peel, lemon peel, and citron. Those flavors complemented the orange oil and vanilla used in the dough. I soaked the fruit in warmed bourbon. That and the overnight starter combined to create a moist, delicious bread. I used the weights except for the candied fruits.

This is a rich dough, much like a brioche, and mine was silky in the middle, with a fairly soft crust as well. It's almost a cake, but truly a bread. Try it toasted...toasting really enhances the flavors and makes a nice textural contrast, too. If you can do butter, butter it after toasting for a decadent experience you won't soon forget.

I was baking this on a rainy day, so that might be why I needed at least a half cup additional flour. It does make a soft dough and if you allow plenty of rising time you can probably make a very slack dough, but I didn't have that kind of time. Our faithful companion, an elderly black lab named Pi, requires quite a bit of time and care right now as he recovers from a bad case of vertigo that left him unable to stand or walk for over a week. Now he is walking all over our property, but still has some trouble walking for long in a straight line; it's more like a sailboat tacking. Each day he improves so we are hopeful that soon he will be going in the car with us and taking his walk in his favorite park. Last night he even stood up on his own for the first time in three weeks...a big milestone.

In the unlikely event that you have leftovers, this bread also makes a fine component of either French Toast or Bread Pudding.

Do visit our other Bread Baking Babes to see their versions.

Want to make this bread? Consider posting about your bake and sending the URL and a photo with short description to Judy to be a Bread Baking Buddy and be included in the Buddy round-up. Just get it to her by Nov. 29th. More information is on her blog. You can also post on our Facebook page. for 'extra credit'.

Overnight Panettone

This traditional Italian holiday bread will stay fresh longer when it's made with an overnight starter.

Prep: 20 mins

Bake: 45 mins

Total: 13 hrs 20 mins

Yield: 1 large loaf


Bake in 2 quart sauce pan



  • 3/4 cup (90g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/16 teaspoon (just a pinch) instant yeast
  • 1/3 cup (74g) cool water


  • all of the starter (above)
  • 2 1/4 cups (270g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (57g) lukewarm water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons (57g) butter, softened
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla + 1/8 teaspoon orange oil
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons fast acting instant yeast or 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons (8g) salt
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (85g) golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup (64g) slivered dried apricots (left these out)
  • 1/2 cup (85g) dried cranberries (left these out)
  • 1/2 cup (71g) chopped dried pineapple (I used 1/4 cup each candied orange rind, lemon rind, and citron)
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) orange zest (grated rind) or lemon zest (grated rind)


1.      To make the starter: Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Combine the starter ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl, cover, and allow them to rest overnight (8 to 12 hours).

2.      To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients except the fruit and zest, and mix and knead them together — by hand, mixer or bread machine — until you've made a soft, smooth dough.

3.      Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until it's puffy (though not necessarily doubled in bulk).

4.      Gently deflate the dough, and knead in the fruits and zest. (Soak fruits in hot/boiling water (or bourbon as I did) to soften. Drain before adding them)

5.      Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a panettone pan or other straight-sided, tall 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan. Cover the pan and let the dough rise until it's just crested over the rim of the pan, about 1 hour.  (Helpful to line the pan.)

6.      Bake the bread in a preheated 400°F oven for 10 minutes; reduce the oven heat to 375°F and bake an additional 10 minutes; then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, tenting with aluminum foil if the crust appears to be browning too quickly. Panettone should be a deep brown when done, should sound hollow when tapped, and will read 190°F at the center using a digital thermometer. (It's easy to under-bake, since it browns so quickly!)

7.      Remove the panettone from the oven and cool completely. Store at room temperature, well-wrapped, for up to a week; freeze for longer storage.


  1. We never toasted any of this! But I did french toast some, oh my gosh, bread pudding in a pan. Hope your fur buddy continues to improve!

  2. It looks great! I'll have to try it with the pan.

  3. I really like the effect of baking this bread in a 2-quart saucepan. Your panettone looks great!

  4. Wow! It looks great. Thank you for testing the saucepan method!

  5. Elderly dogs (as ours is also) require a lot of care. Your Panettone is lovely!