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Make Christmas Panettone at Home With Our Favorite Recipe

Panettone is surely the most renown Italian Christmas dessert. Every year, all supermarkets’ shelves and bakeries’ windows are filled with lots of these delicious treats. The classic panettone with raisins and candied fruits remains the most popular choice, other versions have gradually appeared - panettone with chocolate chips or chocolate and pear panettone, to name a few.

In every house there is at least one panettone in the cupboard, ready to be shared with family and friends during the festive period. 

Today, I am going to show you how to make your beautiful panettone at home. Make sure to follow all the steps - it takes 48 hours to make a panettone! Let’s start with the ingredients:

Ingredients for Christmas Panettone

For the so-called “biga”:

  • 0.4 cups (50gr) manitoba flour
  • 1 tsp malt (or honey or sugar)
  • 1 tsp (3gr) fresh yeast
  • 2 tbsp (30gr) whole milk at room temperature

The first dough:

  • 0.2 cups (25gr) manitoba flour
  • 1 tsp (4gr) fresh yeast  
  • 0.2 cups (40gr) sugar
  • 0.9 cups (110gr) all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick (45gr) softened butter

Second dough:

  • 0.6 cups (75gr) all-purpose flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick (45gr) butter
  • 0.25 cups (50gr) sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean seeds
  • 2 tbsp (20gr) candied citrons
  • 2 tbsp (20gr) candied oranges
  • 7 tbsp (60gr) raisins
  • 1 tsp (3gr) fine salt
  • 1 lemon zest


  • butter, to taste

Notes: you will need a planetary mixer and a 1.7Lb (750gr) panettone mold.

Christmas Panettone

Directions for Christmas Panettone

Let’s start by preparing the “biga” - this is the name given to a sort of preliminary dough that will help your panettone rise. In a bowl, add your manitoba flour, the yeast previously made into crumbles, malt, and milk at room temperature. Mix shortly with a spatula until you get a little dough ball and place it again into the same bowl; cover with some plastic wrap. The biga needs to rest for 1 hour at room temperature and for 12 hours in the fridge.

Now let’s move on to the first dough. After 12 hours have passed, take the biga out of the fridge and place it into the bowl of your planetary. Add both the all-purpose flour and the manitoba flour, sugar and the crumbles of fresh yeast. Turn on your mixer at a low speed and slowly add the eggs previously beaten. Let the planetary work for a few minutes until the dough will be good enough, you will notice that if you pull it gently it will not break. At this point you can add the butter at room temperature, one bit at a time, so that the dough can absorb it gradually. 

Turn off the mixer and transfer your dough on a worktop, where you will work it following these steps: slap it on the surface, pull it a little and then fold it over. Repeat until you will have a smooth and firm dough. Next, shape it into a round and let it rise for 1 hour into a bowl covered with plastic wrap. The temperature here needs to be around 78-82°F. Then, put your bowl into the fridge for 12 hours. 

Directions for Second Dough for Christmas Panettone

It’s time for the second dough! After 12 hours, take your dough out of the fridge and let it rest for 2 hours at a temperature of about 78-82°F. While you wait, you can rinse and soak the raisins to rehydrate them. Once ready, squeeze out the water and put the raisins aside.

Transfer your dough into the planetary bowl, add the flour and the sugar. Then proceed with the beaten eggs, yolks, vanilla and the grated zest of a lemon. Turn on the mixer at a low speed and add the salt. Knead until the dough will wrap around the hook. Now you can add the softened butter bit by bit - like you did the first time - so that it can be slowly incorporated. While the planetary works, you can cut the candied oranges and citrons into small cubes and add them to the dough while it mixes. 

It is time to remove and transfer the dough onto a worktop: slap it, pull it and fold it over again to make it firmer. Shape it into a round and place it in a bowl. Cover with some plastic wrap and let it rise for 2½  hours at a temperature of 78-82 °F.

Removing Christmas Panettone Dough

You can take the dough out of the bowl now. Lift one side and fold it over, then shape it into a round once again. Place it in the panettone mold and let it rise for 3 hours at a temperature of 78-82 °F. When it has almost reached the edge - 1 inch left more or less - use a sharp knife to cut a cross over the top of the dough. At the center of the cross, place a bit of butter. 

Cook your panettone on the lower shelf of the oven for 50 minutes at a temperature of 345-350°F. To prevent it from browning too much, you can loosely place a sheet of foil onto the top or you can put another baking tray on a higher rack.

Once it is ready, insert two long skewers at the bottom of the panettone, turn it upside down balancing it with the help of two jars or pots of the same height - so that it can hold its shape. Let it cool down like this for a few hours and, finally, your beautiful panettone is ready. 

Buon appetito!

Angelo Coassin

Angelo Coassin is an Italian professional dancer, actor, passionate home cook, and creator of the page @cookingwithbello. In June 2021, Angelo launched his first cookbook “Bello’s Sexy Pasta”, a collection of his most delicious and authentic pasta recipes.