We like to make fruit-studded breads during the holidays, and the boxed panettones look so pretty and tall, but my experience has been that they are mostly dry and flavorless or have a fake taste to them. I've wanted to bake my own for a while and read many recipes in my search for a good panettone.
I saw Jim Lahey's slow rise panettone recipe in Gourmet's December edition and knew right away that this was the recipe for me. Shipping costs on panettone molds were a little prohibitive—even more than the cost of the paper molds—and I thought I wouldn't get to make it. Fortunately King Arthur Flour offered a free shipping deal last week and my panettone papers arrived on Monday, a few days before Christmas and in just the nick of time to make this lovely bread for Christmas morning breakfast.
Lahey is famous for his no-knead bread, and he uses the same cold rise technique to bring wonderful flavor to his panettone (which is kneaded with a heavy duty mixer). The bread takes up to 24 hours to make, so start a couple days before you serve it. This is how I would break up the steps:
- Morning: Soak the raisins for at least 8 hours.
- Evening: Prepare the dough.
- Overnight: Rise 12-15 hours.
- Morning: Second rise 3 to 5 hours.
- Afternoon: Bake for 60 to 75 minutes.
A heavy duty stand mixer is preferred for mixing this wet dough, but light duty mixers can work, you just need to increase the mixing time for the dough and keep an eye on it to make sure your mixer doesn't start dancing across the counter like my old KitchenAid Classic seems to do. My dough didn't quite come together and become smooth and elastic, even after 8 minutes, so I sprinkled on a little more flour and scraped down the dough, then turned on the mixer again. After a few minutes something like a dough had formed.
Removing the vanilla bean sounded so simple but turned out to be a bit of a challenge after the long rise. For the life of me I couldn't find that vanilla bean, even with digging down into the dough and rolling it around the rising bowl. I finally gave up and baked the bean!
The final step of hanging the bread upside down is just like the step of turning an angel food cake upside down, and prevents the bread from falling as it cools.
To serve, simply peel the paper away and slice into wedges from the top down. The bread doesn't keep well, so it's best eaten fresh within one day but also works very well as bread pudding or french toast a day later.
[Update: August 2009, featured by Saveur.com in their Best of the Web section!]
Slow Rise Panettone
- 2 small bowls
- stand mixer with paddle attachment
- large bowl, for rising the dough
- 6 x 4-inch paper panettone mold
- baking sheet
- 2 (12-inch) metal skewers
- tall pot
- 1 cup raisins
- 2 tablespoons light rum
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- 3¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ vanilla bean (split lengthwise)
- 3 large eggs (room temperature)
- ⅔ cup lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon warm honey
- 12 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter (10-½ tablespoons softened and cut into tablespoons; 1 tablespoon melted, 1 tablespoon chilled)
- ⅔ cup candied orange (or lemon peel or citron, chopped if the pieces are large, chopped if the pieces are large)
- In the small bowl, soak the raisins in the rum and 2 tablespoons hot water, covered with plastic wrap, for at least 8 hours.
Prepare the Dough
- In the bowl of the stand mixer, mix the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, lemon zest, and vanilla bean at low speed.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, ⅔ cup lukewarm water, and honey.
- While the mixer runs at low speed, pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients. Increase speed to medium-low and continue mixing.
- Add the softened butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing completely before adding each. Increase the speed to medium-high and mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
- Drain the raisins, and discard the liquid. Stir the raisins together with the candied orange peel or citron and melted butter. Stir into the dough with a wooden spoon.
- Place the dough in the large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a cold oven with the door closed for about 12 to 15 hours, until the dough is nearly tripled in volume.
- Discard the vanilla bean. Rub your hands with flour, sprinkle the top of the dough lightly with some flour, and turn out onto a floured board. Sprinkle a little more flour onto the dough.
- Fold the edges into the center and place seam side down into the panettone mold. Cover with a damp tea towel (not terry cloth) and let rise in a draft-free spot at room temperature about 3 to 5 hours, until dough is just above the top of the mold.
- Place the rack in the lower third (closer to the bottom than the middle) of the oven and preheat to 370° F/118° C. (If the dough is too high in the oven, the top will brown before the middle is cooked, resulting in a burned top crust.)
- Place the dough in the mold on a baking sheet. Use a serrated knife to score and X across the entire surface of the dough. Place 1 tablespoon chilled butter in the center of the X.
- Bake in the preheated oven about 1 to 1-¼ hours, until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out slightly moist but not wet or doughy. The panettone will be very dark (but should not be burned).
- Pierce the skewers all the way through the panettone and through the papers. Hang the panettone upside down over a stock pot or between two objects of equal height. Cool completely, then remove the paper and slice into wedges for serving.
More Celebration Breads
More Panettone Recipes from Other Blogs
Brockville Restaurants says
I've never made Panettone but after reading your post I had to try it. The recipe turned out great and I think that next time I'll try to put different dried fruit in the mix and see how it turns out. Thanks for posting the detailed steps.
Fantastic! You Panettone looks really good! Thanks for the link...
Cheers and Happy Holidays,
Baking Soda says
Sounds interesting! Like you I like to bake fruit studded breads this time of year but there's always a risk them being too dry. I'd like to try this recipe. ("they" say panettone is dry because you need to dip your slice in your morning coffee..hmm but still...)
Gretchen Noelle says
I was eager to see this after you kept twittering about it! It looks delicious! I would like to try this recipe to see how it compares, I bet the flavor is delicious!!!
Thanks all! The flavor is good, the texture crumbly and only a touch dry, and we enjoyed slices with maple cranberry butter and other jams and curds. We didn't feel the need to dunk it the first morning, but it would need some dunking the day after, or would make a nice bread pudding or french toast.
I love panettone! I have just started baking with yeast so this is one recipe I will bookmark for when I get comfortable enough with my skills. Thank you for posting it with all the helpful details and pictures.
P.S. Do you have a recipe for candied orange peel?
T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types says
That looks amazing! I noted the recipe in Gourmet as well, but never got around to it. I'd love to make this one day, and appreciate the additional directions you included.
Did you eventually find the vanilla bean?
We found the bean while eating the bread. 🙂
Checking out the photos, thanks so much for the tips. These photos look great. This is really helpful.
Chezus - denise says
I read this in Gourmet as well and thought about it! I am glad to know someone who gave it a try - will put it on my holiday bake list for 2009! Love Panettone!
Andrea, I stumbled upon your panettone recipe. I had also seen the Gourmet article but haven't tried that recipe yet. However, I did notice that your recipe calls for 1/2 TABLESPOON of salt whereas the Lahey recipe uses 1/2 TEASPOON of salt. Was this change intentional or inadvertent? annette
Annette, thanks for catching my typo. Fixed!
Panettone was on my Christmas to do list, and well, it never happened. But I may still give it a shot to welcome the new year.
When things calm down and my sons are back in college and high school, I am going to try this. It looks so good and yummy. Thanks for posting.
I would love to feature this as an Examiner aticle for Italian Food in Minneapolis. I would of course link back to you. It looks to good not to try! I will await your reply - in any case - am going to try this. It looks closest to what I remember from childhood.
Beautiful bread and awesome resources!! I linked to your panettone post today on my blog. Happy Holidays!
I think the yeast should be "Instant Dry Yeast" not "Active Dry Yeast". Not being a regular bread maker I thought it was odd that the yeast was being to the dry ingredients without being proofed but proceded according to instructions. Unfortunately my Panettone was not a success though it did smell wonderful & I will try again.
Lahey's recipe actually says active dry yeast because it's supposed to be a long, slow rise. Hopefully your next attempt will turn out better for you!
Made this recipe last year. After about two days it was still unrisen. So I mixed up some yeast and water, beat it in and continued as with a more traditional (not slow rise) bread. It was delicious.
This year I am trying it again with that little dab of yeast! It has now been 12 hous with little movement in my cold oven.
I see other recipes titled Sullivan Street Bakery Panettone with 1package plus 1 tsp yeast and a faster rise. I know that yours is the authentic one.
Any suggestions? Did yours actually triple in volume in 12-15 hours?
I looked at his cookbook and the bakery is pretty warm, so maybe their "cold" ovens are different than ours.
Any hints would be greatly appreciated!
Hi Joy. I've never had to wait longer than 18 hours for the first rise. I'd say if the dough isn't showing significant progress at 15 hours, then move it to a sunny window or set it on top of the stove and turn on the overhead stove light to coax it along.
I just took two panettone's (made from and by your recipe above)out of the oven and they are beautiful. After reading the reviews, I decided that having a warm environment was key to the bread rising properly. I started the bread at 4:00 a.m. 12/22/2010 as I had forgotten to bring the eggs and butter to room temperature. When I got up the kitchen seemed cold and so did the oven, so I heated the oven up to 170 degrees and brought in a space heater to warm up the kitchen. Once the oven had preheated, I turned it off so it would cool down a bit. The oven felt perfect when I put my plastic wrapped bowls in and the bread rose exactly as written in your recipe. Everytime the kitchen felt like it was getting cool, I turned on the space heater and the light in the oven. I did not open the door on the oven during the 15 hour peiod. I am so glad these turned out as I am meeting my foodies for lunch today and that is their gift, I think they will be as delighted as I am. (note: I used 3/4 c of the rum soaked raisins, 1/4 c candied orange peel, 1/3 c dried cherries and 1/3 c chestnuts)
Another Tip: I didn't have time to order the panettone wrappers or mold and of course they are no where to be found in Oklahoma, so I purchased two 34.5 oz coffee cans removing of course the coffee and outside wrap, but also took my can opener (removes the entire lid) to remove the lip and edge of each can. I used parchment paper - cut out circle for the bottom and lined the walls of the can, worked perfectly...however, Santa would you please get me the wrappers, I can live with the coffee cans, but a mold would be nice as well. The bread is now cooled and I have re-wrapped the outside with parchment and tied with twine, printed a few of Giada's recipes - Panettone French Toast, Panettone Bread Pudding and one of my favorites Argula and Roasted Fruit Salad with Panettone Crouton's.
Thanks so much for posting this! Do you know about how long it takes to cool?
Hi Sara. The panettone will take about 30 minutes to cool completely.
Hi Andrea! I used the recipe straight out of Gourmet back in 2008 and made about a dozen of the things. Whew! They were so good and definitely better than most that are dry and oddly flavored, like you said. I am working on an upcoming blog post today and could not remember what recipe I used and came across yours which prompted me to find the dog-eared page in my Gourmet December 2008 issue, THANK YOU. As the recipe is not online, I am including a link to your recipe in my post, if you don't mind.
I'm intrigued by the method for cooling the bread. Why is this hanging method better than cooling on a rack?
Great post - nice pictures & explanations.
Hi Katy. Hanging the bread upside down is much like turning an angel food cake upside down to cool, it keeps the bread from falling as it cools.
Is it possible to double this recipe? I like to make more than one at a time (because all the rising take so much time), but this recipe only makes (a surprising) on bread. Please let me know what you think.
Hi Andrea. 🙂 Yes, you can easily double the recipe. Just make sure you have a large bowl for rising the dough, or use two bowls.