Easy-ish, almost no-knead Panettone


Almost. Yes, there will be some kneading, but take it from someone who is known for Panettone recipes that will give your upper body an intense workout, this is quite the revolution! Panettone is a traditional Italian Christmas enriched bread, and creating this type of dough, negotiating with eggs, sugar and fats, is never an easy feat. This may not be the traditional version, but it it very user friendly, especially if you don’t have a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook (or if you do have it, but don’t fancy reaching for that corner cupboard you need a ladder to get to, the one you shove in all those gadgets you only use once a year!)

The idea behind this dough is to add most of the ingredients at once (minus the dried fruit), to create what seemingly resembles a lumpy mess that will never work, but by some magical Christmas miracle will turn into a dough. Such magic is performed by time. Like any other no-knead dough, time is your secret weapon. Once the main ingredients have been mixed into a bowl, your job is halfway done. Over the following 8-10 hour, the dough will grow and develop and when you go back to it, it will have more than doubled in size. At that point it will need a little TLC. You will provide that, gently bringing in together, adding a touch more flour if needed to created a dough that is pliable, but still soft. So, yes, there is a bit of work involved, but it truly is a walk in the park in comparison to a traditional recipe, which you can check  out here.

Give it a go, see what you think!




Ps I anticipate that many of you will enquire about my Christmas tree. Yes, it’s artificial, but doesn’t t it look amazing? It took me days of internet surfing and review reading before I convinced myself these are  the most realistic trees out there. It is stunningly beautiful, I can’t stop looking at it!!! Also, I can’t stop looking at my Luna’s sweet pins as she helps decorate it….

Ingredients, serves 10

4-1/2 cups of Manitoba flour (or strong baker’s flour. You can use 00 as well), plus more for dusting

1 teaspoon of dry yeast

1 cup of milk

1/4 cup of olive oil

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup of caster sugar

2 tablespoons of honey

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange

1 teaspoon of vanilla paste

1 small pinch of salt

200 gr of mixed dried fruit such as cranberries and sultanas, dusted with flour

1 beaten egg for brushing


  1. Place the flour and dry yeast in a large mixing bowl, add milk and oil and start mixing with a wooden spoon of spatula. Add eggs, sugar, honey, vanilla, pinch of salt, orange and lemon zest and keep mixing. If the dough is too runny and sticky, add 2-3 handfuls of flour and mix to incorporate. At this point you just want all the ingredients mixed together in what will appear to be a slightly lumpy mess. Have faith! erase the top with a little olive oil, then cover with plastic film (or beeswax wrap) and allow to prove at room temperature for 8-10 hours. I often start this process the night before I want to bake, leaving it proving overnight, and wake up to a beautifully risen dough, ready to be gently kneaded.
  2. Once the first bulk prove has happened and the dough has more then doubled in size, you can get kneading and folding. Lift the dough out of the bowl with floured hands and transfer it to a floured surface. The dough will feel soft and slightly sticky and will be beautifully perfumed.
  3. Using floured hands, gently knead it for 1 minute or until it feels smooth, then stretch it into a rectangle, add sultans and raisins and then gently knead to incorporate the fruit. Stretch it back into a rectangle, then fold it like you would with an envelop, then onto itself and shape into a ball. Place back in the bowl, covered.
  4. Repeat the stretching and folding one more time after 1 hour, then leave to prove in a panettone mould. You can find them on line, otherwise you can use a normal 18 cm cake tin, but be sure to create a tall collar of baking paper around the edges to allow for the dough to grow upwards.
  5. Leave to prove in the panettone mould (or tin) for 1 hour or until grown by 2/3. In the meantime bring your oven to 180 C.
  6. Score the top in an X pattern, brush with beaten egg and place in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until evenly risen and the colour of dark caramel. A wooden skewer inserted in the centre should come out moist, but not doughy. If it looks like it’s browning too fast, cover it with baking paper, but keep in mind that the crust is supposed to be quite dark. Take the panettone out of the oven. If using a metal tin, lift the bread out and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.If using a panettone mould, pierce one long metal skewer or knitting needle (or a bamboo skewer, like I did in this photo) all the way through the panettone and through the paper. Hang the panettone upside-down over a large stockpot or between two objects of equal height.  Cool it for a minimum of 2 hours.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Although a bit finicky, drying and cooling your panettone this way will ensure it keeps its dome-shaped beauty and the roof will not collapse. You have come this far, you might as well go the full distance!Panettone will keep fresh for 1-2 days and will still be delicious toasted and dusted with icing sugar after 3-4 days. It also freezes well and can be used as a base for bread and butter pudding, tiramisu and trifle.IMG_6757.jpg


SILVIA’S CUCINA is available in stores and online!

MADE IN ITALY is available herehere   and here

LA DOLCE VITA is available online  on Amazon  and here

Silvia’s Cucina is on Facebook Twitter and Instagram

My new book LOVE, LAUGH, BAKE is out now!!!!




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