Panettone-style Christmas bread

Panettone-style Christmas bread

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  • Makes 2
  • Easy
  • 45 minutes, plus 2½ hours’ rising time
  • 1 hour 20 minutes

Instead of one big shop-bought panettone, try these little drum-shaped Christmas buns. It’s tricky to get the traditional cupola shape of a panettone without a special baking tin, so we used clean, empty food cans to make small ones. Just be sure to rinse them well before using!


  • 2½ t instant yeast
  • ⅓ cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 330 g flour
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 2 t vanilla paste
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 t salt
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 1 T orange zest
  • 1 T lemon zest
  • 250 g butter, chopped
  • 1 free-range egg yolk
  • 50 g flaked almonds

Cooking Instructions

1. Combine the yeast, milk and lemon juice, then allow to stand for 5 minutes until foamy. Add 70 g flour and 1 T caster sugar and mix well. Cover with a damp cloth and rest for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.

2. Place the mixture into an electric mixer and add the remaining ingredients, except the citrus zest, butter, egg yolk and flaked almonds. Knead until smooth.

3. Add the citrus zest and butter and mix until incorporated. Cover with a cloth and allow to rise for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

4. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Grease and line 2 x 16 cm tins (we used an empty tomato can) with baking paper. Knead the panettone until smooth, then shape into 2 balls. Place into the tins and cover for 30 minutes.

5. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven’s temperature to 200°C and bake for a further 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 170°C and brush the panettones with the egg yolk and sprinkle with the almonds. Bake for 40 minutes until completely cooked through. If they get too brown, cover the tops with tin foil.

Cook's note: Serve with espresso and glasses of chilled sweet sherry. If you have any left over, use it to make bacon-and-marmalade toast.

Find more Christmas dessert recipes here. 

Photographs: Myburgh Du Plessis
Production: Abigail Donnelly
Food assistants: Bianca Strydom and Nadia Meyer

Abigail Donnelly Recipe by: Abigail Donnelly
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Nothing excites Woolworths TASTE's Food Director quite as much as the challenge of dreaming up recipes with innovative new foods – or the thrill of creating deliciousness on a plate with the humblest of ingredients. With Abi by your side, you’ll be a cooking expert in no time at all.

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    Lois Carol Wessels
    December 2, 2021

    THANK YOU FOR THE RECIPE – I LOVE PANETTONI – I don’t waste a crumb, especially delicious toasted with lashings of Lurpak butter