I have loved Panettone even before I could try it. I grew up watching Italian TV and Christmas time was a magical time. Everything, from the TV shows to commercials was just magnificent. Can you blame me? Most TV commercials featured Babbo Natale (Italian Santa Claus) with some kind of Panettone or Kinder Eggs or just yummy looking things that weren’t yet available in my native country. Even though Panettones are now widely available in stores, it has been my forever goal to learn how to make it. I’ll show you below all the steps of making this Chocolate Chips Panettone:). Enjoy it!!
*Note: This post has a lot of tips and descriptions, if the text is too long and you want to skip straight to the recipe, please hit Jump to Recipe button!
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What is Panettone?
Ok, so let’s backtrack for a second. While I know there are people who are huge fans of this Christmas sweet bread, maybe there are others who are just learning about it.
Panettone in Italian means Big Bread (pane means bread and anything that gets the one as the ending of a word, it means bigger). There are so many legends around this sweet bread and so many traditions on how you’re supposed to eat it. But to summarize it all, this amazing sweet bread originated in the city of Milan, Italy.
Traditionally, panettone is a cylindrical bread with a dome type top. Bread itself is soft, fluffy and airy. Typically bread has a citrus flavor and it is sweet. As this sweet bread is becoming famous around the world, there are plenty of variations on the classic recipe. Some countries will add all kinds of dried fruits, other nuts and other areas will replace fruits with chocolate chips.
My version below is sweet, it has a citrus flavor but also has chocolate chips which is the version I personally prefer.
Panettone seems to be pretty famous in several European countries but also in Latin America, especially Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. I read an article the other day about made to order Panettones that cost $50 and it was fascinating.
How Do You Serve Panettone?
Panettone is served in so many different ways. Please let me know in comments, how do you like to serve panettone in your house.
It can be served for breakfast with coffee or milk. You can also warm few slices and serve it with butter. Certain versions are offered as small bites and served with lunch time wine or dinner wine. My kids love to have a slice in the afternoon while I enjoy it with a cup of tea:).
People who are familiar with this bread, usually gift it for the Holidays as many brands have created festive packaging.
Chocolate Chips Panettone Recipe Tips & Notes
I made Panettone this year 5 times already because there are so many intricate details and I really wanted to get it right before posting my recipe. Here are some of my notes and steps to get the perfect homemade Panettone.
- You’ll need paper molds, even though I looked everywhere, I have only been able to find them in Amazon. See below the exact same one I used. There are other sizes available, but you might have to adjust the recipe to be used in other sizes.
- You’ll need yeast to make Panettone because the dough needs to almost double in size before you bake. I can’t find here in Miami the yeast I used back home, so I experimented a little with different ones. My grocery store had 3 options, same brand but ohh so different from each other. For my recipe I ended up using the dry Rapid Rise one.
- It’s common through Europe to use some rum or other alcohol when baking panettone. Not much, just a little bit for flavor. Feel free to add some to the below recipe. I didn’t add alcohol to mine this time since we were going to have people over and didn’t know if they were ok with it. Usually rum is added when using chocolate chips. However, when baking the panettone with dry fruits like raisins and candied oranges then the fruits sometimes are soaked overnight in alcohol.
- Room temperature when letting the dough rise can influence how much time it takes for the dough to rise. Mine took about 3 hrs to rise, kitchen temperature at the time was about 78 degrees (that’s Miami in December for you). But if your kitchen is cooler dough might take awhile to rise. Be patient, this recipe doesn’t require a lot of active cooking but it does require patience.
See below a picture of mostly all the ingredients I used to bake my panettone.
Start mixing ingredients slowly as per recipe instructions below. Make sure that butter and eggs are room temperature. You can use a stand mixer or a hand held mixer.
- Once the dough is ready, cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature for about 1 hour. Uncover the bowl, add chocolate chips and mix well. Then transfer dough to paper mold. Move the paper slowly from side to side to allow the dough to hold the paper in its round shape. You don’t want it to set in an uneven shape.
- Let the dough rise in the paper mold for about 3 hours. Please remember that this time might vary by a lot. It depends on flour used, yeast, room temperature and so many more factors. My rule of thumb is that dough should almost double in size and start to overflow a litte.
Finally when dough has started rising over the rim of the paper mold, then out it in the oven.
- It is very important to hang a panettone of this size in skewers upside down after baking, otherwise the bread might collapse on itself. I don’t have a good setup for hanging the panettone upside down so I grabbed two kitchen containers of same size that were taller than my panettone and hanged the skewers there.
Homemade Chocolate Chips Panettone – Christmas Sweet Bread
- Panettone Paper Mold
- Standard Oven
- 2 skewers
- 0.5 cups all purpose flour
- 0.5 cups warm water
- 0.5 dry rapid rise yeast packet packet is 1/4 oz, use half (packet is about 21 grams so you would use about 10 grams)
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups chocolate chips standard is about 1 cup but I love loading it in chocolate chips, adjust as needed.
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 lemon
- 1 orange I used a navel orange
- 6 eggs (I used 3 whole eggs and 3 egg yolks)
- 1 stick unsalted butter make sure butter is room temperature
- 0.5 dry rapid rise yeast packet so basically you'll need 1 packet, half for the starter and half for the dough (21 grams of dry rapid rise yeast in total)
- 2/3 cups warm milk
- 1/2 cups sugar If you'll use less chocolate chips, feel free to increase a bit the sugar quantity.
- 2 tbsps confectioner's sugar (optional)
- Mix water, flour and rapid rise yeast in a small bowl. Set aside for about half an hour. Cover the bowl during that time.
- Dissolve the other half of the rapid rise yeast in warm milk. Use a bigger bowl this time.
- Grate the lemon and orange, set those aside as well.
- I used a hand held mixer so instructions are listed with that in mind but you can definitely use a stand mixer if you have one and it makes the prep a little easier and faster.
- Start mixing the flour into the milk mixture. I mix with my right hand and add ingredients slowly with my left. Add sugar and vanilla. Keep speed on medium, you don't want to mix at a high speed because you'll spin flour everywhere.
- Add butter and continue mixing. Slowly add the lemon zest and orange zest. If you like a strong citrus flavor, you can add it all, if you don't or are not sure then add only half the lemon zest and half the orange zest.
- On a separate bowl whisk 3 eggs and 3 egg yolks. Add this mix to the main bowl where you're preparing the dough. Continue mixing.
- Finally add the starter dough in and mix it all together. If the dough is too thick for the hand held mixer you can continue mixing with your hands (just mix to create the dough, no kneading). Stand mixer should handle this just fine.
- Let this dough rise about 1 hour covered up in a bowl in room temperature.
- Add chocolate chips, make sure they're well distributed and pour into the paper mold. Dough at this point shouldn't go past the mold's middle height wise.
- Let the dough rise for another 2 hrs or so (estimated time, it can vary based on room temperature). The dough should rise over the paper mold's rim until it creates a dome.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit (about 200 degrees Celsius)
- Bake the panettone mold (place it over a sheet pan) for about 10-15 minutes at this temperature in the middle rack. Depending on your oven size and how tall your panettone dome is, if the dough is too close to the upper wires in the oven lower the rack to the bottom.
- Once the dome of the panettone has started to brown a bit, then lower the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (approx. 180 degrees Celsius)
- Bake for 1 hour at 350. Halfway through I added an aluminum foil cover over the panettone to prevent the top from getting too brown.
- Once you get the mold out, pinch with 2 skewers crossing about 1 inch from the bottom and flip the mold upside down. Hang the skewers on a parallel surface. This will prevent the panettone to collapse on itself. I used 2 plastic containers that were same height.
- Using confectioner's sugar is optional, but if you like it you can sprinkle some on top after the panettone has cooled down.
- Dry rapid rise yeast – it might come in different packages, brands etc so just wanted to clarify that in total you’ll need 1/4 oz, half for the starter dough and half for the dough. In metric it is 21 grams, half in each. Let me know if you need any help with this step.
If you would like to save this recipe for later, please pin the below image to Pinterest. Feel free to contact or tag me in social media if you made my recipe or have any questions:). Thank you!!