Born in the northern Italian city of Milan, panettone’s sweet start goes back centuries intertwining its divine doughiness to Italy’s heritage. While its exact beginnings will never be truly known, fable has it that the first panettone was created in the court of Ludovico Il Moro as a quick replacement for a near failed dessert. Centuries since its inception, this luscious enriched brioche has been refined and regaled as one of Italy’s most famous holiday breads.
Traditionally using rich ingredients of butter, eggs, sugar and wheat flour matched with candied citrus, panettone provides a sumptuous treat for the winter months around Christmas. At Bona Furtuna we tend to refer to panettone as a sweet bread rather than a cake, as traditional versions call for the use of natural yeast and multi-day fermentation. And to create a bread with delicate, yet complex flavor the best bakers will use their own naturally leavened starter, or lievito madre, to ferment their dough. Consider this the unique signature of each individual baker. Known for an airy, supple crumb these elegant loaves owe their texture to being hung upside down after being pulled from the hot oven so their beautiful domes do not collapse.
Panettone is now one of the most popular breads during the holidays and can be found in many variations. Today you can find inclusions of nuts, seeds, saffron, pistachios, vanilla, chocolate and of course extra virgin olive oil! At Bona Furtuna, we are excited to push the barriers of the historical version with inclusions of candied tarocco blood orange and our award-winning extra virgin olive oil for a light and fresh tasting treat. Our candied lunario lemon and dried cherry provides another rendition on the buttery classic, while our chocolate, chocolate chip, Malvasia wine infusion panettone pushes the barrier of decadence. For the ultimate indulgence, try the complete collection.
From its small beginnings in Lombardy, panettone can now be found far and wide. Indeed, Peru is now the largest producer of panettone in the world. Yet, we still believe that there is no match to using traditional Italian methods of panettone and authentic Italian ingredients for this exquisite holiday bread. However one discovers their version of the sweet brioche, we have found it enjoyed with pistachio cream spread, dipped into chocolate fondue, or eaten alone by the slice. No matter how you choose to savor panettone we’ve always found it best shared the Italian way: around a table with friends and family. Mangiamo.