Ah… ‘Tis the Season, indeed.

227.4, this morning. Christmas – the gift that keeps on giving! And giving…

It’s really been a yo-yo two weeks. It started with Christmas Cookie Baking at my sister’s house, going out to dinner, still not at the gym, too damned cold outside to do anything… And then getting candy in the mail from friends! 2 pounds of Fralinger’s Salt Water Taffy from Atlantic City. A tin of Almond Roca.

While I’ve gained back a few pounds, I saw my Primary Care Dr on Monday for a 6-month follow-up, and I was actually down almost 25 pounds from my appointment in June. Not too shabby!

So… as any red-blooded foodaholic would do, I made a Panettone, today! It’s a 2-day process. I started yesterday!

Panettone eluded me for years. It was one bread that was almost there – but not quite. Last year I finally nailed it. This year was even better!

I’m not entirely sure where I was going wrong, but time, perseverance, and pure luck have finally played out. Not to mention having a 95°F proofing setting in the oven!

Feathery light, soft, and delicate. Perfection in a 7″ paper baking mold.

And just a few calories. The entire recipe is 5405 kcal – five thousand, four hundred, and five calories! 

I sliced 2 pieces for me and Victor – 1/8th each – 676 kcal. That’s not leaving me much for dinner, tonight. But every feathery bite was worth it.

It is just so much better than the packaged panettone I have bought for years. And, while it does take a bit of time, the actual recipe is quite easy and straightforward.



  • 300gr mixed dried fruits (currants, raisins, cranberries, candied lemon and orange peel, dried cherries, or any combination)
  • 6 tablespoons brandy


  • 1 1/2 tbsp rapid-rise yeast
  • 5 ounces 98°F milk
  • 50gr (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Fiori Di Sicilia extract
  • 500gr (4 cups) bread flour
  • 5gr salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 255gr unsalted butter, at room temperature

Place dried fruits in bowl, add liquor, cover and keep at room temp overnight.

Mix sugar with barely warm milk. Add flavorings and yeast and set aside.

Mix flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add yeast mixture and mix to combine.

Add the eggs a couple at a time. Mix on medium speed until the dough begins to smooth out.

Cut the softened butter into 1 tbsp chunks and add the butter a piece at a time, mixing it in fully before adding more. Total mixing time will be about 10 minutes – maybe a bit more. It should be glossy and satiny. The dough will be sticky.

Butter a large bowl and scrape dough into it. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The following morning, strain the soaking fruit.

Place dough on a lightly floured counter and spread out into a rectangular shape.

Place half of the fruit onto half of the spread-out dough. Fold the dough over the fruit and fold over, again. Pat out, again, add the remaining fruit, fold several times and then form into a ball.

Butter a 7″ panettone mold or paper.

Add the dough ball, lightly cover, and allow to rise for about 3 hours – or until the dough is rising well above the rim.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes. Lower the heat to 300° F and bake for an additional 45 to 55 minutes.

Cool completely before slicing.

It’s worth it!