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5 facts about panettone

Panettone, the traditional Italian Christmas speciality, is more than just a (delicious) bready fruit cake. The way panettone is made, the steps involved in making panettone, and the history of panettone are just a few things that make the speciality Italian Christmas cake even more special.

Our panettone is made with our extra virgin olive oil, with an exclusive recipe developed by us and Pasticceria Scarpato, you can read about this here. But in the meantime here are five things you might not know about panettone showing just how special it is.


1. Panettone is actually a sourdough

It’s a leavened sweet bread and the yeast comes from “lievito madre”, the mother dough, which is passed along to each new batch. The process, compared to regular baking methods, makes it more fragrant and tasty, and actually easier to digest.


Nudo Panettone  comes from the mother dough of the original panettone made by Signor Scapato in 1888. Vecchio madre!

2. Panettone's dotted origins

There are more than a few theories about the origin of the panettone. Among the legends of the invention of panettone are servants offering their yeast to save a failed cake, suitors trying to impress fathers of their loved one, and an old law around who could bake with wheat to make bread. But the true origin isn’t really known, and like many great things the mystery surrounding it is part of it's charm. We do know that it originates from Milan, and the word itself comes from “panetto” meaning a small loaf cake, with the suffix "-one" changing it to "large cake". Though the rest remains legend and hearsay.

3. Panettone is hung upside down after baking

When panettone has finished baking, it is flipped upside down until it cools. This prevents the bread falling in on itself it and keeps the lovely soft and fluffy texture.  

Panettone hung upside down after baking

4. Panettone takes three days to make

Panettone takes three whole days to make between the mixing, leavening, baking, and resting. That’s three days of patience and respect of the natural cycle and ingredients (well worth it we think).

5. Panettone is protected by law

To protect the traditional and authentic processes of the Italian speciality, panettone is protected by law. We value traditional and authentic processes with our extra virgin olive oil production so this is right up our alley. The law states that to be called panettone it must be made with natural yeast. This was declared by decree to protect some of the best-known specialties of Italian confectionery characterization and traditions. Just like extra virgin olive oil, there are is a lot of fraud out there so beware of the fakes.

Panettone all Olio dolivaNudo’s Panettone is made using our extra virgin olive oil to instead of the usual butter. Using extra virgin olive oil makes for a panettone that is soft and light in texture but still moist and with even more full of flavour. Plus that bit better for you (always good at Christmas time!). Read more here about the story behind our olive oil panettone. 

It’s a best seller and anticipated favourite each Christmas, so get yours while you can.

try panettone