Italian Panettone with Sourdough

Italian Panettone with Sourdough
When it comes to Christmas, Panettone is a must! The recipe I am proposing is based on that of master Rolando Morandin, entirely prepared with Sourdough.
Preparing Panettone at home is undoubtedly tricky, let's be honest! In fact, the recipe is quite long, and there are many aspects to know to read the signs (positive or negative) of the dough... But do not get discouraged, and most of all, do not get frustrated if the first attempt does not meet your expectations! If you carefully follow my advice, I guarantee you will succeed.
If you want to discover more tricks, have a look at How to Make Panettone.
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Preparation: 1 hour
Cooking: 1 hour
Rising Time: 21 hours
Total Time: 23 hours
Servings: 4 Panettones of 1kg


  • Stand Mixer
  • Metal  Skewers
  • Paper Mold for Panettone
  • Cooking Thermometer
  • Feed Grade Bags
  • Immersion Blender


For the First Dough

  • 800 gr Strong Flour for Panettone (W360, 14% - 15% of proteins)
  • 500 gr Softened Butter
  • 450 gr Ripe Sourdough Fed 2 or 3 times
  • 350 gr Granulated Sugar
  • 250 gr Egg Yolks (Quantity 1)
  • 200 gr Water at 30°C (86°F) (Quantity 1)
  • 200 gr Egg Yolks (Quantity 2)
  • 100 gr Water at 30°C (86°F) (Quantity 2)

For the Second Dough

  • 400 gr Strong Flour for Panettone (W360, 14% - 15% of proteins)
  • 135 gr Egg Yolks
  • 100 gr Softened Butter (170gr if you won't use Clarified Butter)
  • 70 gr Granulated Sugar
  • 60 gr Clarified Butter
  • 50 gr Honey
  • 50 gr Candied Orange Peels in Paste
  • 50 gr Flavoring Paste for Leavened Doughs if you won't use Candied Orange Paste - Click here
  • 2 pods Vanilla
  • 24 gr Salt


  • 500 gr Raisins washed and re-hydrated
  • 300 gr Candied Orange Peel (diced)
  • 50 gr Candied Citron Peel (diced)


For the First Dough

  • First of all, prepare a syrup by dissolving sugar and egg yolks in the water at 30°C (86°F), using an immersion blender.
  • Pour the syrup into the mixer bowl and add the sourdough after the second or third refreshment.
  • Knead for about 2minutes, so you can dissolve the Sourdough before adding the flour.
  • Add the flour and let the dough form a glutinous mesh which must be elastic and extensible. This step is crucial for the success of the Panettone recipe.
  • Check the proper formation of the glutinous mesh, taking a piece of dough and spreading it with your hands until it forms a thin layer of dough.
  • Once the dough is amalgamated and elastic, add the second dose of egg yolks, allowing them to be correctly absorbed. Finally, add the water (quantity 2) according to the recipe.
  • When the dough is fully developed, add the soft butter at room temperature in several batches, allowing it to be thoroughly absorbed into the dough.
  • The first dough is ready. Transfer it into a large container, sprinkle the surface with some small pieces of soft butter, and let it rise at 22-24°C (71°F - 75°F) for 15h until it has tripled its volume. Fermentation time depends on room temperature; therefore, before proceeding with the next dough, make sure the dough has tripled its initial volume. To better visualize the development of the dough, I suggest creating a "graduated scale" on the container, marking the starting volume and the desired volume at the end of fermentation.

For the Second Dough

  • Pour the first dough now-fermented into the bowl of the stand mixer.
  • Knead the first dough together with the flour very well until forming a strong and elastic gluten mesh
  • Add the egg yolks and knead until they are completely absorbed.
  • Then add the sugar, honey, and candied orange paste (or the aromatic mix you have prepared) and allow to knead until the dough detaches from the mixer bowl.
  • Mix without whipping the butter, clarified liquid butter, salt, and vanilla. Then add the mixture to the dough, a little at a time, allowing it to be well absorbed between each addition.
  • Once the dough is well combined, add the raisins and candied fruit and turn the mixer for about 1-2min on low speed.
  • Let the dough rise for about 1 hour to relax the gluten and complete the hydration of the proteins.
  • For 1kg Panettone, divide 1100gr portions of dough and let rest on the table for 5minutes.
  • Roll up the dough to stretch the gluten and form tight loaves. Place in paper molds (1kg) and let them proof at 26-28°C (79°F - 82°F) for 5-6 hours.
  • The real Milanese Panettone is finished with the "scarpatura".
    For this, you score a cross on the Panettone surface, lifting the 4 edges. You place a cube of soft butter in the center and finally close the edges towards the center.
    This particular operation favors the growth of the panettone. It creates a larger toasted surface during baking with the consequent development of a more complex and pleasing aromatic system.
  • Bake in a static oven at 150°C (302°F) for about 45-50min.
  • To test cooking, check that the temperature at the heart of the product is between 92°C and 94°C (197°F - 205°F).
  • Remove the panettone from the oven, pierce them with the appropriate metal skewers and turn them upside down for at least 2-3 hours.
  • Let the Panettone cool completely before packing it in food-grade bags. I also recommend waiting a couple of days before tasting your Panettone to allow the aroma to spread into the cake.


The raisins must be prepared the night before the dough.
Rinse it twice in hot water at 50°C (122°F) with a little food-grade alcohol to properly clean it from the preservation waxes.
Then soak it in lukewarm water (35°C - 95°F) for 1 hour, without using alcohol or spirits (which might interfere with the fermentation).
Finally, let it fully drain and lay it on a perforated pan, or spread it onto a clean cloth.
Clarified Butter is liquid butter at room temperature, which gives an extraordinary softness to the Panettone. It's also great for the preparation of Choux and Shortcrust pastries.
The Panettone's aroma is entirely developed in 2-3 days after baking; therefore, wait a few days before tasting it.
Candied Orange Paste is an exceptional solution to flavor your Panettone in a natural way.

Nutrition Label

Serving: 100g | Calories: 4245kcal | Carbohydrates: 648g | Protein: 65g | Fat: 162g | Saturated Fat: 91g | Cholesterol: 1787mg | Sodium: 1318mg | Potassium: 1884mg | Fiber: 24g | Sugar: 235g | Vitamin A: 5752IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 391mg | Iron: 26mg

Translated from Italian with Love


Can I let the Panettone rise at room temperature?

Yes, Panettone and all leavened doughs can rise at room temperature (19°C – 20°C, 66°F – 68°F). The proofing time will obviously be longer: 18-20 hours for the first dough fermentation and 10-12 hours for the final proofing.

The main advantage of a long fermentation is reduced consumption of sugar in the dough. As a result, the Panettone will be sweeter.

I Can't Find the Right Flour for Panettone; Can I Use Manitoba Flour instead?

It would be better not to use only Manitoba flour. Manitoba flour is very strong and, therefore, will produce a chewy and dry panettone. If you can’t find other flours, a solution is to create a mixture of 80% Manitoba Flour and 20% All-Purpose Flour.

Obviously, a specific flour is preferable to the flour mix

Can I make Panettone with fresh yeast?

Yes, if you don’t have sourdough, or are not familiar with this ingredient, you can make a panettone using yeast.  Here is the recipe for my Panettone with Yeast

Unlike a panettone made with sourdough, a panettone made with yeast will tend to dry out much faster. 

How long should I wait before using the sourdough starter for panettone?

To make Panettone, you need a ripe and strong sourdough starter. There is no standard time for this, but you can verify that the sourdough is ready if it triples its volume in 3 – 3:30 hours at 30°C (86°F), once fed.

If the Sourdough is not sufficiently strong, then it won’t be suitable for Panettone.

The first dough didn't rise. What does it depend on?

Most likely, the Sourdough is too weak or too acidic. Check the condition of the sourdough during refreshments in the previous 4-5 days and adjust it as I explain in this article.

A second cause could be the fermentation temperature. For example, if you let the first dough ferment at room temperature, the dough could take up to 18-20 hours to ripen.

Why did the second dough become sticky?

Most likely, the first dough was too acidic and therefore brought too much acidity into the second dough.

If you are still in the initial stage of kneading, let the dough chill to around 20°C, 68°F (in the fridge or freezer), and add 1gr/kg of bicarbonate of soda dough when you start kneading again.

Why did the second dough collapse as I added the butter?

The most frequent cause is that the second dough did not form a proper glutinous mesh during the initial kneading phase. I recommend making sure the gluten mesh is well developed before adding sugars and butter; otherwise, the dough will collapse.

A second cause could be the first dough is too acid (with an excess of lactic acidity)

Can I replace the raisins and candied fruit with chocolate chips?

Yes, you can replace the fruits in the Panettone with baking chocolate chips. The amount to use is 10% of the weight of the dough without filling (instead of 20%-25% of the fruits).

Be careful not to add too much chocolate, as it tends to dry out the Panettone very quickly.

hey, do you want to try some other recipe?


13 thoughts on “Italian Panettone with Sourdough”

  1. Great recipe. I was intimidated after reading the recipe, however, I welcome the challenge. First try was a success. I made candied orange peel so I used that and chocolate chips. The dough rised according to your recipe, I surprised myself. I used the sourdough starter I use for my regular bread. Refreshed 3 times and although the starter was not like yours on your video (meaning your starter was like a loaf, mine was much wetter), the bread still turned out great. I’m getting ready to try again.

  2. In the recipe for the second dough, it says 25g softened butter (170g if you don’t use the additional 15g clarified butter). Should that say 125g, rather than 25g?

  3. Thank you very much for ddetailed recipe. Unfortunately for the second time my panettone felt down from metal sticks and smashed. It is devastating for me! I did everything right, but baking creates problem. Any advice?

  4. Hi, I’m very excited to make a panettone by myself for Christmas , however I live in a small town and the choice of flour is very limited. I have only access to: bread flour, whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, cake flour and 00 type flour(for pizza). What should be the flour ratio to have the best result?
    Thank you!!

    1. @Jasmine, I use Bob’s Red Mill bread flour and follow the recipe, the bread came out great. I think King Arthur bread flour will work also.

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