The holidays are upon us, despite how different they may look this year. Fortunately, we can still enjoy some of our favorite culinary traditions, like the panettone! These sweet airy cakes have a way of making the holidays extra special.
The birthplace of panettone is claimed by Milan. This “big bread” gets its name from the shape the bread takes as it rises from the pan, with a large, domed top. The baking process is quite involved — the dough proves for days, making it a truly special treat. A similar recipe for the panettone dates back to ancient Roman times when they baked leavened bread sweetened with honey. However, the recipe only became standardized and popularized in the early 20th century. It has been enjoyed by folks worldwide ever since!
This year, we’ve brought you the Italian tradition by way of one of our favorite South Philly bakeries, Mighty Bread Baking Co. You may recognize Mighty Bread from one of our most popular Monthly Clubs. Chris DiPiazza, baker and owner, has perfected their panettone recipe with the addition of amarena cherries and chocolate from exquisite Italian chocolatier, Amedei. Keep reading for a video visit to their bakery!
Baking off one, let alone hundreds, of these pillowy Christmas breads is no small feat, requiring days of meticulous production. The dough is mixed and proved for days. Then chocolate, cherries, and orange zest are folded into the dough, shaped and added to the iconic brown and gold liners.
The cakes are topped with sugar and baked. As soon as they emerge from the oven, skewers are pierced through the bottoms and flipped! They are hung on special drying racks for the panettone to set. This allows the cakes to retain their domed shape as they cool. When they’re finished, they’re wrapped and boxed – ready to enjoy!
The panettone is quite a versatile holiday treat. Additionally, because of its size you can enjoy it in multiple ways. You can, of course, enjoy it on it’s own sliced right out of the box for breakfast with your coffee or tea. It makes wonderful toast slathered with butter, nocciola or pistacchiosa. Or, use it as french toast and top it off with some drizzled honey. It’s lovely after a meal paired with some after dinner wine, digestif, or prosecco. You can also amp up your panettone as a dessert by soaking it with your favorite liqueur. And finally, for the ultimate holiday mash up, use your panettone to make an eggnog bread pudding. The vanilla nutmeg flavors of the eggnog will pair beautifully with the spiced cake.
We’re so proud to offer a panettone produced by some amazing (and amazingly-talented) neighbors right here in South Philly, and baked with the highest-quality Italian ingredients. It’s traditions like these that keep us close in spirit, though we may need to celebrate from a distance.
We paid Mighty Bread Baking Co. a visit, and captured it’s creation on video from start to delicious finish.
Previously on In the Kitchen with Jackie:
- Spooky Black Risotto
- Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese
- Blueberry Mascarpone Cornbread Cake
- Black Garlic Shoyu Glazed Kebobs
- Making Pesto with What You’ve Got
- How to Eat Rotisserie Chicken
Show Your Pasta Some Love
- French Onion Soup
- Winter Citrus Salad with Yuzu Dressing
- Roasted Sweet & Smoky Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta + Grilled Cheese!
Ottanta al Tartufo Mac & Cheese
Trick or Treat Cheeseboard
Hello! My name is Jackie Botto and I’ve been working with Di Bruno Bros. for over five years – styling, photographing and sometimes cooking with all the phenomenal ingredients they offer. CHEESE? Yes, mostly cheese. This blog is the space where I’ll share the things I make. No, I am not a professional chef, I’m a home chef! I cook for myself, my family, my friends – and then I take photos of what I make with the hope it inspires you to cook too.Want to share some tips or pairings of your own? Please leave a comment below!