Italy Today

Panettone: an Italian symbol during Christmas time

The recipe and legends of the sweet bread which became famous all over the world

Panettone: an Italian symbol during Christmas time

Claudia Astarita

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Panettone is the typical Italian dessert, always present at the table during the Christmas period.

Created in Milan, it quickly spread throughout the country, thanks to the simplicity of its ingredients - easy to be found - and the unique shape of a cupola that make it one of a kind.

Several legends depict the origins of Panettone, but the most credible one seems to be linked to love reasons. It is said that Messer Ughetto Atellani started working in a bakery to conquer the baker's daughter. In order to impress both, Ughetto tried to lift the business up again by inventing a new dessert, experimenting an original recipe of a sweet bread, later known as Panettone that turned out to be very successful.

Another legend tells that during the Christmas lunch at the court of Ludovico the Moor, the chef burnt the dessert. Considering his despair, a kitchen porter named Toni suggested to serve the sweet bread he had prepared in the morning. That bread was very much appreciated by all the commensals.

Which story is the true one we do not know, but one thing is certain that the Panettone has become a symbol and a tradition of Italian tables. Many decide to buy it, others opt for some refined and organic versions but some others choose to make their own homemade Panettone.

Everything we need for the chariot is Manitoba flour (100g), brewer's yeast (2g), malt (a tea spoon) and lukewarm milk (60g). The dough for a Panettone having the final weight of 1,3 kg requires Manitoba flour (50g), 00 flour (350g), brewer's yeast (2g), eggs (4 plus 3 yolks), sugar (160g), butter (170g), lemon zest (of 1 lemon), candied orange (40g), candied cedar (40g), sultana (120g), vanilla berry (1), salt (5g). Not hard to prepare, the only hassle is mixing all ingredients in the proper way.

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