Panettone: The “Brazilian” Christmas Bread

Beginning sometime around mid October Brazilian supermarkets begin to stock up on panettone and the panettone eating season begins. There is no way to avoid it and at every corner you will be bombarded with this tasty sweet bread loaf.

PanettonePanetonne is originally from the city of Milan, Italy and the orthern Italian immigrants brought panettone to Brazil in the early 20th century. There are several different stories of how the  panettone loaf received its name. The first tells that Fr. Antonio was very fond of this particular bread and because he wore a hat similar to the shape of the bread (tall with a puffy top) it became known as ‘pane di Tony’ or Tony’s Bread. Another story suggests that the name panettone came from the Milanese ‘pane del ton’ meaning ‘cake of luxury’. Or another play with these words says that the name came from ‘pane’ which means bread and ‘tone’ which is large. Now, the last story tells that a Milanese nobleman, Ughetto Atellani, loved Adalgisa, the daughter of a poor baker named Toni. In order to try to win Adalgisa’s hand in marriage the nobleman disguised himself as a baker and invented a rich cake to which he added flour, yeast, butter, eggs, dried raisins, and candied lemon and orange peel. The bread was praised and the nobleman and Adalgisa were married.

This is how my panettone should have looked with the nice puffy top! (

This is how my panettone should have looked with the nice puffy top!

Whether any of these hold true is not for me to say, but a bread with a little story behind it is always something wonderful.

So, although panettone is so easy to buy at this time of year in Brazil I decided that, nevertheless, I still needed to learn how to make it. This recipe is my first attempt, and, although it tasted absolutely delicious there are some things that I need to work on to make this loaf much better. For starters, I didn’t quite get the puffy top to the loaf which gives it its signature look. Secondly, I think that I kneaded the dough a little too much and maybe added too much flour taking away some of the light fluffy texture. But, apart from those two issues I was so happy with my first results that I thought I could still share it here.

If you do not want to try to make this recipe at home, but still want to have a slice of this delicious cake, you can order it on

PanettoneThe recipe that I used is a quick bread recipe based on brioche bread. Many of the panettone recipes that I came accross required about two days of rising, kneading, etc, etc, etc. I wanted to make a quick and easy panettone and opted to go with this recipe. The brioche dough is very sticky and runny and can be difficult to work. Don’t make the mistake that I made by adding tons more flour to try to make the dough easier to work!

To purchase the panettone mold online CLICK HERE!


250 ml warm milk
15 g yeast
350 g white flour
120 g butter
2 egg yolks
60 g white sugar
10 g lemon zest
10 g orange zest
30 ml vanilla essence
100 g crystalized fruit
50 g raisins
60 g almonds
60 g cashew nuts

Begin by mixing the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast together in a large bowl or on a counter top. Add the egg yolks, lemon zest, and orange zest and mix together. Add the warm milk and knead the dough together. Add the cubed butter and knead into the rest of the dough. Knead well for approximately five to ten minutes until the dough comes together well. Place in an oiled bowl and set aside in a warm area to rise. Leave to rise until doubled in size. Once doubled in size, turn out the dough onto a lightly floured counter top. Press the dough down forming a thick pancake. Add the crystalized fruit, raisins, and nuts to the dough and work in by kneading. Knead until all the fruit and nuts are fully incorporated. Split the dough into two equally sized balls, shape, and place into the panettone forms. Set aside in a warm area to rise. Leave until the dough is doubled in size. Preheat oven to 160C. Brush the top of the panettone with egg and bake until the top is brown!



10 thoughts on “Panettone: The “Brazilian” Christmas Bread

  1. Saskia, your panetone looks great, in spite of anything youmay say. I made several last year, including savory ones (onios with shredded jerky beef), but I decided that it was too much work as it never looks or tastes like the store bought ones. But it will never be. The store bought ones tastes like cottom balls soaked in artificial vanilla with some drizzles of artificial chocolate. I bet your tasted much better. For the puffy top, I’ve seen bakers in Italy hanging the panetones upside down after taken out of the oven, until they cooled completely. For that, you need to stick a skewer across the mold and the bread leaving a few inches out on both sides so you can use them to hang them upside down. Merry Christmas!


    • I have never minded the store bought ones, but I wanted to be able to make it myself. Still needs some work, but next year I should have the perfect recipe.


  2. Yum. Good for you for going all old school and making it yourself. I, on the other hand, have discovered a fool proof bread machine recipe for Panatone that is delicious. Although I quadruple (!) the fruits and nuts ingredients. I use about half dried, candied fruits and then add rum soaked raisins and dried prunes. I toast coarsely chopped almonds and include them. It is a crowd pleaser, even my songra loves it.

    Then – if it is all not sweet enough – my husband has discovered this recipe for using a store bought panatone on sale after Christmas. He has it in mind for New Years Eve.

    Thanks for your inspiration. Boas Festas.


  3. Do you really order on from Brazil??? I found the import tax exorbitant when ordering from here (it was as much as the value of what I was buying!!!). I had to send my stuff to a friend in the US and ask her to send it to me as a “gift”. International mail is so slow though,it has been more than 6 weeks and I’m still waiting for my package… 🙄


    • No I don’t. I recommend for people living in the USA (but obviously not with everything). Yes, buying stuff on in Brazil is very expensive. The only thing that is not taxed are books!


  4. Pingback: Panettone Al Forno recipe - Kate on thin ice

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