EASY Panettone Recipe
While this is technically not a true panettone, it is a very close substitute and much easier to make than the real deal (for example, you can use dry yeast instead of making your own for several months). It will also be better than most store-bought panettone outside of Italy!
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:
For this recipe, you will need the following ingredients (measured in grams for the sake of accuracy, we don't recommend using cups when baking):
- 5g active dry yeast
- 100g granulated sugar, plus a teaspoon
- 230g bread flour
- 20g honey
- The grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 250g raisins
- 200g all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
- 6g salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 100g unsalted, room temperature butter, plus extra for greasing
- 100g chopped candied fruit (optional)
You will also need the following tools:
- A stand mixer with a hook attachment
- A large panettone paper mold
- A bench scraper (or something similar for manipulating the dough)
- 2 long metal skewers (they should be several inches wider than the panettone mold)
- A deep pot that is wider than the paper mold but narrower than the length of the skewers
- A clean razor blade (a very sharp knife will also work, although not as well)
We recommend starting your panettone the night before you plan on serving it, so that it can rise overnight!
Begin by preparing the yeast. Fill a small bowl with 80ml (1/3 cup) of room temperature water. Add the yeast and 1 tsp of sugar. Mix until they are completely dissolved.
In a mixing bowl, combine the yeast water with 80g of bread flour. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature until it doubles in size—about 1-2 hours.
In the meantime combine the honey, orange/lemon zest and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside for later.
Submerge the raisins in water so that they may soak.
When the yeast mixture has risen, add the remaining bread flour (150g), the all-purpose flour, salt, 100g sugar, 150ml room temperature water, and the egg yolks into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix at medium speed with a hook attachment until all of the ingredients are fully and evenly incorporated—about 15 minutes.
Turn the mixer off and add the yeast mixture into the dough. Mix thoroughly at a medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until it is fully incorporated.
Next, add the honey mixture. Continue to mix at medium/high speed until the dough forms one ball which tends to cling to the mixer hook.
Begin adding the butter a little bit at a time. Add about 1/3 of it at once and allow the dough to mix for a few minutes before adding the next bit.
The dough is ready when it is well-mixed and has again formed a single ball that doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl. Finally, it's time to add the fruit!
Drain the raisins, squeeze out the excess water, and pat them dry with a paper towel. Add these and the rest of the candied fruit (optional) into the dough. Mix at a low speed until they are evenly distributed in the dough.
Liberally butter the inside of a large mixing bowl and the surface of a smooth, clean work surface. Transfer the dough onto the surface and fold it about 10 times. Slide the dough across the slippery surface several times, turning it 90 degrees in between each slide, until a very smooth ball is formed. See the video below for both techniques!
Place the dough ball in the buttered bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature until it has tripled in size—about 6-8 hours depending on the temperature.
Pour the dough onto a well-floured surface. Fold it inward upon itself several time with a bench scraper so that it forms into more of a ball. Repeat the sliding motion from before to make it smooth again. Finally, place the dough in the bottom of your panettone paper mold and cover with plastic wrap.
Place the panettone in a cold oven with the light turned on (this will keep it slightly warmer than at room temperature). Allow the dough to rise a further 2-3 hours, or until the top surface is 1 inch short of the paper rim.
Remove it from the oven, discard the plastic wrap and let the panettone sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. This will cause a slightly firm crust to form on top. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 355 degrees F (180 C).
Use a razor blade or very sharp knife to cut a large cross-shape in the thin crust that has formed on the panettone. Using the blade, carefully peel back the four triangles that have formed and drape them over the edges of the paper mold.
Place 2-3 very thin pats of butter in the center of the panettone. Fold back the triangles so that they cover the butter.
Bake the panettone on the bottom oven shelf for 30 minutes. Place a piece of aluminum foil over the top to prevent it from burning and continue to bake for a further 15 minutes. Check the color of the panettone. If the top isn't golden, remove the foil. If it has plenty of color, keep the foil on. Bake for another 5 minutes.
Remove the panettone from the oven. Carefully punch two metal skewers through the panettone mold, about an inch up from the bottom. They should be parallel to each other and about 5 inches apart (see picture below).
Flip the panettone upside down and suspend it on the rim of a deep pot.
Allow the panettone to cool completely before removing it from the pot, taking out the skewers and serving.
Buon appetito and buon Natale!