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Breakfast / Brunch


Panettone is an Italian sweet bread served at Christmastime. The brioche-like dough is infused with lemon and vanilla and studded with dried fruits and nuts. This recipe makes three loaves, perfect for gifting and serving to guests. You can use leftover panettone in French toast and bread puddings for a delicious twist on the classics.

This recipe is reprinted from Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Zoë Francois & Jeff Herzberg, M.D.

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Test Kitchen Tip

This recipe makes enough dough for three 1½ lb. loaves or 18 muffins.


Mix together water, yeast, salt, honey, 8 eggs, butter, vanilla, zest, and lemon extract in a 6-quart bowl or a lidded (not airtight) food container.

Stir in dried fruits and flour without kneading, using a Danish dough whisk, a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a spoon. (If you’re not using a stand mixer, you might need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.) The dough will be loose, but will firm up when chilled (don’t try to use it without chilling).

Cover dough with plastic wrap or a lid that fits the container but isn’t completely airtight; allow dough to rest at room temperature and rise for 2 hours.

Refrigerate dough at least 3 hours, or overnight. Do not punch dough down; it won’t rise any more. The dough can be used as soon as it’s chilled after the initial rise, or use within 5 days.

On baking day, dust surface of refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1½ pound (cantaloupesized) piece; dust with more flour and quickly shape into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.

Place dough ball in paper panettone mold, seam side down; cover loosely with plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for 90 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350° with rack in center position.

Brush dough ball with egg wash; sprinkle with sugar, then bake until Panettone is golden brown and hollow-sounding when tapped, 50–55 minutes. (The amount of dough and baking times will vary depending on the size of the panettone mold.) Allow Panettone to cool before serving.

Variation: Panettone Muffins Follow the Panettone recipe as directed, but divide each of the 1½ lb. dough balls into 6 equal pieces and shape into balls. Place dough balls in tulip liners, then cover and allow to rest 45 minutes. Brush each dough ball with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, then bake until muffins are golden and set, 30–35 minutes.


Stir mixed fruits into the flour with a Danish dough whisk. You can also use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.


The kneaded dough should be soft and loose, but will firm up when chilled.

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