Panettone: A taste of Italian Christmas

Christmas brings with it a magical atmosphere, and for me, there’s only one thing to have for breakfast on Christmas morning, and that’s Panettone.

Where to buy Panettone in WA?

If you’re in Western Australia like me this Christmas, grab a panettone and be transported back to Italy with each bite.

I’ve come across three places that make fresh panettone, All Grain Artisan, Dolcetto Patisserie and Claudio Bakehouse (Vasse, near Busselton).

The best freshly made panettone in Perth can be found at All Grain Artisan baker (pre-order) in Bibra Lake (also Stirling Markets on Sundays). Sardinian Marco’s version is buttery, extra soft and melts in your mouth. There are two flavours classic and chocolate. I’m a classic fan and he candies the orange peel himself from locally sourced oranges.

Photo: @allgrainartisan

Down south, Claudio Bakehouse in Vasse near Busselton makes incredible. Roman Claudio takes great pride in his panettone. He did a stage learning how to make it from the best pastry chef in Italy (long ago). He uses real fruit (not essence) to flavour his light and fluffy panettone and he has the special equipment you need to hang the panettone upside down to create the perfect dome shape. I mean, look at this picture.

Panettone held by hand

Panettone. Photo: Claudio Bakehouse

I just discovered that Dolcetto Patissiere in North Perth also makes fresh panettone, and have been for years. The taste is great, it’s light and fluffy, and hugely popular.

Once you’ve had the freshly baked version, the store-bought box versions pale in comparison. I still enjoy the boxed versions from time to time because it sparks childhood memories of Christmas at Nonna’s.

Store bought panettone can be found everywhere at Christmas time and Easter including Woolworths, Coles, Aldi, and IGA. I’d recommend going to the Re Store or European Foods though and buy a traditional one. My tip is to the avoid the ones filled with custards and cremes – they taste too sweet. Stick with the traditional sultanas and candied fruit peel.

I did try an Aldi panettone last Christmas because I was curious. The flavour was on point, really delicious and good light and airy texture but somehow still moist (it looks dry). About 30 minutes later I felt a bit sick, which could’ve been because I ate too much of it!


What is panettone?

Panettone is an Italian type of yeast-leavened bread that light and fluffy that includes sultanas and candied fruit peel. It’s originally from Milan, usually prepared and enjoyed for Christmas and New Year.

Photo: Claudio Bakehouse

Is it possible to make panettone?

The short answer is yes, but it’s a long and difficult process. It takes at least three days and it’s one of the hardest pastries to master. I’d recommend buying one, every single time.

Origins of panettone

As with all legends, there are several origin stories for panettone. The one I like the best is of a Milanese baker named Toni fell in love with a beautiful woman who walked past his bakery every day. In an attempt to lure her inside and win over her affections, he spent months creating this vanilla-perfumed loaf he called ‘Pan di Toni’.

Another legend takes place in the 15th century when the court’s chef was tasked with preparing a sumptuous Christmas dinner for the local Milanese nobility. However, the chef forgot the dessert in the oven, causing it to burn. Desperate, he didn’t know what to do, when one of his helpers, Toni, said earlier that morning, he had prepared a dessert with what was left in the pantry – some flour, butter, eggs, citron zest and raisins, and the chef was welcome to use it. Hesitant, the chef brought the dessert to the table and the guests loved it. The chef named the dessert ‘”i pan del Toni”.


Panettone v Pandoro

Panettone, originating in Milan, has a distinctive domed shape, featuring a soft interior beneath a dark exterior. The cake dough, similar to sourdough, undergoes a three-stage rising and falling process before baking. Traditional ingredients include candied orange, citron, lemon zest, and raisins.

Pandoro, from Verona, is known as “golden bread.” Enriched with eggs, butter, and sugar, it reflects an ancient breadmaking tradition reserved for nobility. Pandoro’s eight-pointed star shape sets it apart, often served with a dusting of icing sugar.

Are you team panettone or team Pandoro?

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