Light in texture, filled with fragrant citron peels, lemons, candied fruits and spectacular to look at – The Traditional Panettone. The much loved sweet bread enjoyed on Christmas and New years in Italy, Southeastern France, Brazil, Peru, Malta, Germany and Switzerland.
There are many legends about the origins of the bread. One of them says that Panettone was born at the Sforza times, in Lombardy, Northern Italy, when an absentminded cook burnt the dessert he was preparing for a Court dinner on Christmas Eve. One of the kitchen helpers, whose name was Toni, made use of the leftover bread dough and added eggs, raisins, candied fruits, butter and sugar. When the resulting sweet bread was served, it was a great success and since then it was called “Pan (bread) de Toni (of Toni)”.
There are some more interesting stories associated with the bread. I, for one, am just glad that I got to make a beautiful bread, that has so much history associated with it. This was my very first Daring Baker’s challenge that I took part in. My friend Finla, who writes the beautiful blog : - My Kitchen Treasures and another friend Bhavna, who is the girl in the Just a Girl from Aamchi Mumbai pushed me on and said they believed in me, even when I did not believe that I could do Daring Baker’s challenges. It’s friend’s like these that I am ever thankful for.
The process of baking a Panettone looked daunting at first (when you are looking at the recipe, sitting in Denver, you tell yourself you are mad for even thinking of trying this at high altitude). Then the baker in me woke up and said, “At the worst we are going to get an end product that may just fall onto itself but still taste good with the butter, candied fruits and almond glaze. So put the apron on and get the flour out.”
And I did. And am glad that I did.
The December 2012 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by the talented Marcellina of Marcellina in Cucina. Marcellina challenged us to create our own custom Panettone, a traditional Italian holiday bread!
Here is the suggested recipe that I more or less worked on :- Panettone