Panettone is an Italian yeast bread (almost like a cake though — light and sweet), enriched with eggs, sugar and honey, and dried or candied fruits. It’s traditionally eaten at Christmastime and there are many legends surrounding its creation. I’m actually a fairly recent convert to panettone. For years, I’d see those blue and red boxes in stores during the holiday season, but I hesitated trying it because I feared it would be heavy and fruitcake-like. A few years ago, I finally gave in to curiosity and discovered that panettone was more airy bread than cake and had just a touch of sweetness — I loved it!
Homemade panettone is an elaborate, time consuming process. Because of the high sugar content, the dough takes many hours (close to 10 for mine) to proof, but the resulting bread is very delicate and melt-in-your-mouth. I didn’t have the traditional panettone papers, so after some experimenting, I ended up taking a cue from Baker’s Banter (although I didn’t use their recipe) and baked it in a bundt pan. If you love panettone, I strongly urge you to make your own. It really is that good.