Panettone for Breakfast | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

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Panettone for Breakfast

Panettone for Breakfast

12 slices

45 min

5 hr 30 min

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While we tend to think of panettone as a Christmas bread, Jewish food writer Edda Servi Machlin shared this version of panettone from her childhood experiences in Italy of eating it for breakfast. She provides an authentic yet simpler process than most panettone recipes and a very tasty one at that. Enjoy it whenever you want a special treat. Or, for breakfast.

Adapted from Edda Servi Machlin, Classic Dolci of the Italian Jews: A World of Jewish Desserts



2 envelopes active dry yeast (4 ½ teaspoons)

¾ cup warm water (110º F)

¾ cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

4 ½ cups all-purpose flour

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature) or substitute olive oil for a pareve version

5 eggs

1 cup seedless dark (preferably Muscat raisins, she writes)

½ cup diced candied citron peel

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. In a large bowl of a mixer, dissolve 1 envelope of yeast (or 2 ¼ teaspoons) in ½ cup of warm water with 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Add enough flour to make a batter the consistency of sour cream.

2. When the batter begins to bubble, about 10-20 minutes, add the butter and the remaining sugar, beat until very smooth

3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. Dissolve the remaining yeast in ¼ cup warm water with a pinch of sugar and add to the bowl.

5. Add enough flour to make a rather thick batter and set aside for 2 hours or until more than doubled in bulk.

6. Add the raisins, the candied citron peel, and the vanilla extract and mix until all is integrated.

7. Add enough flour to make a very soft dough.

8. Spray the panettone mold with butter spray. Or, grease and line with parchment paper, a 7 inches across x 6 inches tall souffle dish or coffee can, with the edge of the parchment paper extending 2-3 inches above the top of the dish.

9. Transfer the dough to the baking dish, place inside plastic bag, and set aside for 2 hours or until the dough reaches just under the top of the mold.

10. Some people make incisions in the top and place butter. Or, you could use an egg wash on the top.

11. Place in cold oven and set the temperature at 400º F.

12. After 15 minutes lower the temperature to 350º and bake for another hour, or until a skewer comes out clean. Or until it reaches internal temp of approximately 190º.

13. Let cool at room temperature and serve in the paper mold, cutting directly through it. Some people push two skewers through the panettone to turn it upside down in pot or rack or bowl to cool overnight. Store in plastic bag in cool, dry place.

For a pareve, non-dairy version for a meat meal, substitute olive oil for the butter.

Rabbi’s Remarks:

  1. Access some paper panettone molds 7 inches in diameter online.
  2. Many panettone recipes require soaking the dried fruits in liquor, preparing a starter a day before the baking, and hanging the baked panettone upside down to keep it from collapsing on itself.
  3. Try substituting chocolate, dried ginger, dried blueberries or other favorites. I did and it was delicious.
  4. I tried it with whole wheat flour and also with white whole wheat flour. (use half all purpose and 1/2 white whole wheat)
  5. I mixed it all with a fork.
  6. Accessing citron peel in December is easier than other seasons. I used candied lemon peel.

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