Friday, December 5, 2008

Vegan Recipe - Panettone

Panettone is an Italian Christmas bread. In my house, it is a must for the holidays. We start thinking about it in October ... bake some for Thanksgiving ... and again for Christmas. Occasionally, we make another for New Year's Day. While I'm sure one could make this in a bread machine ... we make ours by hand ... kneading tons of love into the dough. This version leaves out the eggs, butter and milk and replaces them with a guilt-free, planet-friendly ... delicious and festive treat.

I hope you'll try it!


1/2 c. warm water
2 tsp. regular baking yeast
1/4 tsp. real Spanish saffron
1/2 c. regular soymilk
1/4 c. light unbleached or white beet sugar
3 T. good-tasting non-dairy margarine
grated zest of one orange (organic, if possible)
grated zest of one lemon (organic, if possible)
1/2 T. anise seed
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. pure almond extract
3/4 tsp. salt
2 and 3/4 c. unbleached white flour
1/4 c. wheat germ
1/2 c. golden raisins
1/2 c. chopped dried apricots
OPTIONAL: 1/3 c. chopped lightly toasted almonds or pine nuts

Add the yeast and saffron to the warm water in a cup and let sit 5 or 10 minutes, until bubbly.

In a small saucepan or a microwave, heat the soymilk until it is just hot, with bubbles around the edges. Add the sugar and margarine and stir to dissolve. When the soymilk has cooled down a bit, add it to the yeast and water. Pour this into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer with a bread hook. Place the anise seed on a square of waxed paper and fold part of it over to cover the seeds. Crush the seeds with a heavy rolling pin.

Add the citrus zests (white only), crushed anise seed, vanilla, almond extract, and salt to the bowl. Stir in the wheat germ and 1 cup of the flour. Beat well for a minute or two, then gradually add the remaining flour. Knead with a dough hook or by hand on a floured surface (adding as little flour as you can get away with-- oil your hands and the surface, if necessary) for 5-10 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly-oiled bowl and turn it over to coat the top. Place the bowl in a large plastic bag or cover with a clean, damp tea towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours.

Turn the risen dough out on a lightly-floured surface and pat it out into a flat rectangle. Sprinkle the surface with the dried fruits and optional nuts, if using. Roll up the dough jelly-roll style, then fold up the ends. Knead the dough gently by folding and rolling until the fruit, etc., are well-distributed throughout the dough.

Tuck under the edges of the dough to form a ball. Place this on a greased heavy cookie sheet or pizza pan (or even a large cake tan with low sides). Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. With a razor blade, cut a cross in the top of the dough about 1/2" deep. Bake for 30 minutes in the center or upper half of the oven, or just until the loaf is a deep golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a rack before slicing.


  1. This bread sounds good. I often make my own bread. I even grind the organic wheat. There is nothing like baking love.

  2. Paisan, love love love that Italian light cakey bread! It's great when it starts to get a little tough to slice, butter and broil for breakfast. Yum!

  3. I was wondering.
    I've decided to make fun flyers to pass out at work... to customers, so they can donate/recycle food and plastic grocery bags, etc., and to stick in the food boxes of my families.
    If this makes you feel funky, I WILL NOT BE OFFENDED.
    I was wondering if you care if I put some things from your blog in them.. some of your tips, etc. I can send you what I want to use first so you can okay it, and of course I'll say I got it from you.
    I just thought of this like 30 minutes ago, the flyer, so it's still in the planning stages.. I just wanted to check.
    Let me know! :)

  4. I was just thinking that I haven't made a Panettonne! This recipe sounds great - thanks for sharing.
    Feel free to link for your gift list - I think that book is a wonderful idea for little ones and it's so wonderful because you can use your fabric scraps to make it!

  5. To foodbankbarbie and ... everyone:

    I love passing on the "green" word so ... if you want to use the ideas you see here ... please do! Together ... we can change the world!! :)

    To shellyfish ... thanks for giving us the OK to link to your site ... Monday's post promises to be terrific.

    Small Footprints

  6. I think what I love best about this recipe is that you knead tons of love into the bread!! We have a theory in my house, when making food, Christmas food in particular. The right music must be playing on the stereo as we prepare the food (Frank Sinatra Christmas Carols with the lasagna!) to give it an extra special flavor. Music is one of our ingredients :)

  7. hmmmm... can't wait to try it!

    Hope you can add to these posts the ingredients that is available on asian stores.


  8. I have never had any luck with baking bread, you wouldn't have any suggestions for a very VERY easy loaf to start with, would you?

  9. Ms. B is hungry! Ms B wants some of that RIGHT NOW! ohhhhhhh....

  10. hey sf :)
    i just wanna pass you a link... probably interest you :)

    btw... the bread looks gooood!

  11. I do want some of that - I bet it makes fabulous french I want french toast.

    I linked you to the msn blog!

  12. To Mike Avenue: Good idea ... I'll post some recipes which use ingredients you can get (I love Asian food).

    To LittleJ: I have a good Whole Wheat Bread recipe that's pretty easy. If you send your email address to me, I'll send it to you (it's a little long to type in the comments). Write to me at:

    To Luthien: Thanks for the link ... I'm off to check it out now!

    Take care, everyone!

    Small Footprints

  13. Looks and sounds sooooooo yummy :)

  14. I just made this panettone and it smells, looks amazing. I had tried a different vegan recipe earlier and it was too heavy, like a fruit cake. Thanks for the recipe and all the perfect instructions too. I'm gifting these with homemade mandarin jam for the holidays! Wishing you lots of bliss.

  15. I made this the other day, it is so good! It reminds me of the real thing, it had a nice crust and was soft and pillowy inside. I added a few bits of dried pineapple in mine, and also used 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry and 2 cups unbleached flour.
    I made a vegan french toast out of it this morning, it was amazing, tasted like a donut.
    I will definitely be making this again. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  16. So happy I was able to have my panettone for the holidays, made it three times in the span of 2 weeks! It is delicious, thank you!