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I’m just about to jump into full-on holiday baking for this year. With Thanksgiving late in November this year, the time until Christmas is going to fly! Especially since my family always gathers the weekend before Christmas, leaving me just over three weeks to get everything done. So I’m starting a little earlier than usual.

Each year I bake many of the tried and true favorites that my family enjoys but I also try to include one or two new things. This year, I’ve decided to attempt panettone, a slightly sweet, Italian Christmas bread dotted with fruit. After searching through my cookbooks I chose a recipe from the Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. In the cookbook she makes the recipe into two larger panettone but for my experiment I chose to make smaller breads as in this version.

Traditional panettone is baked in star-shaped pans.  I have a sunflower baking pan similar to this Nordic Ware Bouquet Pan, that I decided to use, since it has angles similar to the star pans.

Small panettone in sunflower pan

Following Martha’s instruction for the small loaves this first attempt resulted in slightly dry loaves, and that included reducing the baking time fairly substantially. I’m guessing that since my heavy metal pan would be hotter than the paper molds used in the recipe the baked the bread more quickly. The resulting bread was good enough though and sometime this next week I’ll experiment again – this time with larger loaves.  I’m excited to see my next results!

Dotted with raisins and currants

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  1. The Breadfarm: Pan d’Oro | Culinary Fool

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