Perfect Bread Maker Panettone – Christmas Made Easy

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The Bread of Toni

Traditional Christmas Panettone

As is the case with everything Italian, the nation’s Christmas traditional dessert, Panettone, has its own history that goes back to the fifteenth century. 

A legend has it that one Christmas Eve, while the entire court and guests of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan were sat at the festive table, disaster stroke in the kitchen. The cook managed to accidentally burn the dessert! 

Mamma mia, che dolore che faccio ora il duce mi va cortare il capo! (Oh, dear God, what a disaster, the duke will chop my head off!)

While the unfortunate cook was pulling his hairs off, a kitchen helper, Toni, threw a few ingredients in a bowl and made a soft dough he baked and served to the potent rulers of Milan. 

The sweetbread was so successful among the guests that the Sforzas called it Pan di Toni (The Bread of Toni) which remained in history as the rich people’s traditional Christmas bread. Today, it is the classic Italian dessert the entire world knows as Panettone.

Slice of Italian Panettone

The traditional recipe for Panettone has a lengthy preparing process that takes two days. Thanks to modern technology, many of us use bread makers to save time and bake easier. If you own one and read through the manual, you might find a Panettone recipe adjusted to the type of machine you have. 

This is an adapted recipe from my bread maker’s book. The original sounded a bit blunt, and I wanted to get all the flavours that scream Christmas; hence I added a few things, and the result was an absolute success.

My Panettone lived a very brief life on the kitchen table! But this was only a try. On Christmas Eve, I’ll be sure to throw all the ingredients in the machine, and while we make the last-minute preparation, my Panettone will be ready just in time for dinner. 

I’m certain our kitchen hero Toni would not mind that I wanted to save time and prepare his delight using modern means. It does cut the time from two days to three and a half hours!

bread maker tray with Panettone

As a last note, the dough for Panettone is a soft one, completely different from bread dough and impossible to hand-knead. Even if you chose the traditional method, you would still need a food mixer. Why not leave it to the bread maker then?

Ingredients for bread-maker Panettone:

2 tsp dried yeast (make sure is suitable for bread maker use)

400 g strong bread flour

5 tbsp coconut sugar

1 tsp sea/rock salt

1 tbsp coconut oil (at room temperature)

2 eggs (beaten)

200 ml (3/4 cup) almond/coconut milk

1 tbsp orange zest

Spices mix (ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove)


50 g butter

A handful of resins

A handful of goji berries

A handful of dried cranberries

2 tbsp cocoa nibs

Chocolate shreds (I picked some from a cereal box and spread them on top of my Panettone; improvisation is key!)

Wrapped Panettone

My machine requires dry ingredients to be added first. The programme for this bread is the one for Brioche (13, on my device); crust option: light; total time: 3 hours 30 minutes.

My bread maker would beep after 55 minutes when it is the time to add the extras. Then I have to press the Start button again for the program to continue.

Each bread maker functions differently. The important thing is that the machine will do the job and will let you know when your beautiful, fluffy and aromatic Panettone is ready. Let it cool and use within a week (if it lasts!)

Buon appetito and also Buon Natale for when you will serve it at your Christmas dinner!

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The World Is An Oyster

Working as a journalist during university was pretty exciting. But landing a cruise ship job barely a year in my new graduate career was something else! Overnight, I moved from an already exhilarating job to an even better one. One that would allow me to wake up every morning in a different country. What more can a twenty-something wish for? The fact that I was fluent in a few languages helped. It made it easier to obtain the position I was seeking at the Shore Excursions department. Apart from dispatching tours in the morning and selling tickets in the evening, I would spend nearly every day on different trips. I did this a few years, spending half a year onboard and about two months at home. I enjoyed it immensely. I met fascinating people from all over the Globe and collected memories to last me a lifetime. Not to mention that I received a salary for seeing all those magnificent places the Earth has to offer! In an ideal world, everybody should live as they want. For me, that would translate into travel, then travel some more and keep travelling!

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27 Responses

  1. Looks absolutely amazing! Thank you for this!

  2. casey says:

    This definitely looks like a holiday showstopper!! Thanks for the thorough guide!

  3. Sally says:

    What a great recipe. My family will love having a new dessert to devour. Thank you!

  4. Karine Gareau says:

    This is such a unique recipe, i’ve never heard of it. Might have to try it this year. Looks absolutely delicious!

  5. Trina Welch says:

    I wish I still had my bread maker… May have to invest in one again. Looks delish!

  6. I love Panettone but I always tought is made with a lot of butter, as the texture is similar to a croassant. Now I know why I should make it this Christmas. Looks like a healthier option. Saved it in my recipe book.

  7. Emily Flint says:

    This sounds delightful and I love the story! How fun to make and enjoy during the holidays.

  8. Ghanashyam K says:

    Never heard of this before but it looks absolutely delicious!

  9. Jenny says:

    I haven’t used my bread maker for years. I like bread too much so I had to put it away. But, now I’m motivated to try again. Your recipe looks delicious and it’s beautiful.

  10. Alex says:

    This panettone looks so mouth-watering! I’m just looking at your photos and I can feel how its smells 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

  11. Jenn Summers says:

    Oh my gosh, I have never heard of this bread before and it looks and sounds so very delicious. I do not have a bread maker so I need to send this to someone near me who does haha. It looks absolutely beautiful too I love how you displayed it this would make a beautiful gift. Pinning so I can find it later!

  12. Brinda says:

    It’s a gorgeous looking bread. Thanks for sharing a bit of history about it.

  13. hari says:

    such a lovely recipe.
    wonderful to hear the historical stories behind a recipe.
    looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it in my home.
    thanks for sharing.

  14. Leah says:

    I’ve never had Panettone before! It sounds really good, though! Looking at the ingredients I can see how it has become such a popular dish.

  15. Thank you for this recipe and for sharing the history behind penettone bread. It sounds absolutely delightful as a Christmas tradition – and made even better by reducing the amount of time from two days to a few hours!

  16. This looks amazing! I need to break out my bread machine and get busy. These would make lovely Christmas gifts as well.

  17. Gabriela Herrera says:

    This looks absolutely amazing I been raving to my husband for a while about this type of bread and he has never tried it. Before going vegan this was my go to during the holidays.

  18. Christina says:

    I love Panettone for Christmas. The name always reminds me of my mom, whose name is Antonia (Toni for short) and made this bread every year. Great memories!

  19. Marita says:

    Delicious, my children love this bread.

  20. Was looking for a recipe for Christmas and here you are, perfect timing.
    On my list to be made as it looks amazing

  21. My SO is Italian, so Panettone always makes an appearance at Christmas and no one touches it. So I’ve started bringing it home to make a french toast casserole on Boxing day LOL. This homemade version looks phenomenal!

  22. jeannie says:

    this looks absolutely delish! I do not have a bread maker, but hopefully can try. But then I read two days to prepare, for now I enjoy looking with your bread 🙂

  23. Last Christmas was my first time making a panettone! I hadn’t actually heard about it until I watched the Great British Baking Show 😂 Your recipe looks so easy! Unfortunately, I don’t have a bread maker but hopefully one day I’ll get a chance to try your version.

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