When Christmas time approaches, our minds (and stomachs!) start daydreaming about all things sweet: biscuits, fruit cake, eggnog, cherry pie — and panettone. Pronounced “pah-net-taw-nee,” it is an Italian yeast-leavened bread that is normally made with raisins, candied fruit peels, almonds and brandy. Our mouths are watering, as well, so let’s learn more.
Its origin dates back to 1495. During the luxurious Christmas banquet hosted by the Duke of Milan, the desert was burned. A young cook, who was named Toni, came up with a rich brioche bread, which was filled with raisins and candied fruit. The Duke absolutely loved it, and so the tradition of ‘Pane di Toni’ was created.
Later, in 1821, Panettone became an emblem of liberty in Italy. Red candied cherries and green-coloured citrus substituted the raisins and fruit so creating the red, white and green Italian flag. A Christmas bread with an outstanding story, and – when made right – just as exceptionally tasting.
The Modern Era
At the start of the 1900s two Italian bakers in Milan unearthed the hidden potential of panettone. They both wanted to make loads of it and send it all over Italy. Angelo Motta was the real innovator, and his special tall shape is the one that we now see today. His secret to success was allowing the bread to rise three times for nearly an entire 24 hour day.
Next was Gioacchino Alemagna who unearthed this method and established his own brand. This makes him a little bit of copycat however led to some amazing competition and was the basis of Italian Panettone history.
This ‘Panettone war’ is the very reason why it’s now so popular and famous all over the world. Many immigrants brought Panettone to places in South America such as Brazil and Argentina. You can tell it’s a South American Panettone because they don’t use the traditional fillings but rather candied papaya.
- 4 tbsp of warm milk
- 1 x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
- 150g of caster sugar
- 250g of butter, softened
- 5 medium eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tsp of vanilla extract
- The grated zest of one lemon
- The grated zest of one orange
- 550g of strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 80g of raisins
- 80g of sultanas
- 3 tbsp of dark rum
- 100g of good-quality candied lemon and orange peel, finely chopped
For the topping
- 30g of whole blanched almonds, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp of caster sugar
- 1 tbsp egg white
- 1 tbsp of icing sugar
Tips For Making Perfect Panettone
- If you have a scale, weigh out the flour for a more accurate amount. A measuring cup is fine but use the fluff and scoop method (fluff up the flour in the canister prior to spooning it into the measuring cup and levelling with a knife or scoop).
- Set up everything in advance or put everything in its place.
- Write out a timeline that outlines what time you are going to start and each subsequent step
Once baked, you can enjoy a slice with the online slots Australia has to offer.