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Panettone - Recipe for the Popular Christmas Cake from Italy
Panettone is a specialty from Milan and is considered a popular Christmas pastry throughout Italy as well as in other European countries. In Italy, people like to drink a glass of dessert wine with it. It can't be Christmas without it. At least not in Italy. The Milanese Panettone is as important as the Christmas tree. And since most can't easily travel to the Italian metropolis to try a slice, it's best to bake the popular Christmas cake yourself.
Legend has it that a certain Antonio from Milan was very much in love and wanted to express this love with a cake. The baker's apprentice invented the recipe, and it apparently went down well with more than just his beloved. Soon all of Milan was crazy about the pastry, which from then on was called Pane di Antonio (Bread of Antonio). Over time, the name changed to Panettone.
It is certain that Panettone does not only taste good to lovers. The fluffy soft dough, ideally not too sweet, actually suits any season, but the candied fruits make it taste Christmassy. And if you sip hot tea or - even better - dessert wines like Moscato (Muscat) or drinkable Spumante to go with it, you don't need summer anymore to feel cozy and warm...

Panettone is available fresh or packaged

Everywhere in Milan, you can buy Panettone. On the way to sights such as the Duomo, La Scala or the Navigli district, there are several stores selling Panettone, also packaged, for example from "Motta", "Le Tre Marie" or "Alemagna". And it is worth trying several, because the taste and consistency can be very different. But you can also easily bake Panettone yourself.

Recipe for Panettone:

  • 400 g flour
  • 1 packet of dry yeast
  • 100 g sugar
  • some salt
  • 1 teaspoon untreated lemon peel
  • pulp of a vanilla pod
  • 100 g margarine cut into small flakes
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 liter of lukewarm water
  • 50 g candied fruit and raisins
  1. Mix flour, dry yeast, sugar and salt
  2. Gently add the lemon zest, the pulp of the vanilla bean and the margarine
  3. Add 6 egg yolks and knead into a soft dough
  4. Gradually add the lukewarm water and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 40 minutes
  5. Add candied fruit and raisins, let the dough rise again, knead again if necessary and let it rise a third time
  6. Put the dough in a greased pan and then bake in the oven at 175 degrees for about 20 minutes. In between, you can brush melted butter over it
Tip: Chocolate toffee instead of panettone
If you have small children or simply don't like candied fruit or raisins, you can easily substitute them. Simply add chocolate drops made from dark chocolate to the dough instead at point 3 in the recipe. Enjoy your meal!