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Easy Italian Christmas Bread (Panettone) feat.

Easy Italian Christmas Bread (Panettone)

An easy Panettone recipe with chocolate chips and dried fruit. This Italian sweet bread is usually made during Christmas and its' speckled interior will impress your whole family!

Course Bread, Dessert
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword Christmas, easy, Panettone, recipe, Sweet
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Resting time 5 hours
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 357 kcal
Author The Hungry Bites


  • 4 cups (560 grams) bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup (110 grams) white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) warm milk (not hot)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • The zest from half orange, one lemon, and one mandarin orange
  • 4 large eggs (about 240 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cups (150 grams) soft butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup (75 grams) golden raisins, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup (75 grams) dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cups (100 grams) dark or white chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1 panettone mold or one 8-inch 20 cm round pan, lined with baking paper (see notes).


  1. Preheat your oven to 104°F (40°C) and turn off the heat but leave the oven light on.
  2. Transfer the yeast, one tablespoon of the flour and one tablespoon of the sugar to a small bowl and mix to combine. Add the warm milk, stir to combine and let it foam for 5-10 minutes.
  3. In the bowl of your electric mixer add the rest of the flour, the sugar, the zest, and the salt and mix to combine. Add the eggs, the yeast mixture, and the vanilla and mix with the dough attachment until all of the flour is absorbed. Cover the bowl with cling film and let it rest in the oven until the dough is tripled in volume (2-4 hours).
  4. Deflate the dough and knead with the dough attachment for 5 minutes. Start adding the butter gradually until incorporated. You may have to stop and scrape the bowl a few times. The dough will be very soft. Continue kneading until it becomes very elastic and smooth. Add the dried fruit (and the chocolate chips, if using) and knead for one more minute.
  5. Oil your hands and your working surface (or rub them with some butter). Transfer the dough to your working surface and shape a ball. Transfer the ball to the Panettone mold, and score a cross with a sharp knife. Brush the surface with some milk or melted butter, cover with cling film and let it rest in the oven until tripled in volume (it is best to use a ruler and measure the height of the dough before and after the rise). It should take 2-3 hours.
  6. When the Panettone is almost ready, take it out of the oven and remove the cling film. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean (it can take longer if you use a cake pan). Cover the surface with foil if you notice it browns too fast. Take it off the oven and let it cool on a rack. Slice and eat!

Recipe Notes

How to make the Panettone mold:  Line the bottom of an 8-inch (20cm) round pan with baking paper. For the sides you will need a large piece of baking paper, 26 inches (65cm) in length and 15 inches (38cm) in height. Fold the paper in half lengthwise to form a long strip. Re-fold in the middle lengthwise to form a strip 26 inches (65cm) in length and 3.75 inches (9 cm) in height. Line the sides of the pan with the strip to form a tall mold. Secure it with metal paper clips.

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