Thursday, April 8, 2010


Have you ever had this delicious Italian sweet bread? I've come to think of it as the bastard child of German Stollen and Irish soda bread. But, perhaps I project. My experience with panettone is pretty limited but over the years I've seen it around, generally at Christmas. Last weekend when we were at Rocco's picking up black & white cookies, I saw some beautiful, glossy loaves and decided it was just what I wanted for Easter morning. I know it is an nontraditional choice, particularly when they had those loaves of bread topped with pretty colored eggs, but the panettone looked too good to leave behind. Easter morning I enjoyed a slice of this dense, moist cake, I mean, bread, liberally smeared with unsalted butter. Talk about having a lot going on! There were dried and candied fruits, pine nuts, and a beautiful anise flavor all nestled into a flakier-than-it-looks bread. Eating this bread is like tasting history - it is clearly a treat that has been enjoyed for many generations. Mario Batali has a simple recipe if you want to give it a shot yourself, although, if I were making it myself I'd be sure to include some toasted pine nuts. I think I'd also add some Sambuca to the water I soak my dried fruit in to get some liquorice flavor in there. Of course, pouring yourself a pony of Sambuca on the side is also an option.


  1. Aside from the anise, this sounds like a tasty little bastard! One of the main reasons I don't like Irish Soda Bread that much is because it tends to be soooo dry. But dried fruit, moist interior, and pine nuts? Count me in!

  2. I'm not generally an anise girl, but this bread was incredibly balanced - delicious.

  3. French toast made out of leftover panettone is fabulous, too.