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sourdough panettone

Sourdough Panettone

Sourdough Panettone is one of my favourite Christmas treats! A rich buttery Italian bread, generously studded with dried fruit and mixed peel can easily be mistaken for cake! Using an active sourdough starter in this recipe, it does take a bit of patience to make, but the result is oh-so-good!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Fermenting, Proving, Resting: 2 d
Total Time 2 d 1 hr 30 mins
Course Baking, Dessert
Cuisine Christmas, Italian, Sourdough
Servings 2 panettones (500ml moulds)
Calories 2168 kcal



Honey Mix:

  • 30 g runny honey
  • 1 orange zest only
  • 1 lemon zest only

First Dough:

  • 70 g active 40% hydration starter see notes
  • 75 g sugar
  • 120 g water
  • 55 g egg yolks
  • 70 g butter
  • 240 g strong flour

Second Dough:

  • 60 g strong flour
  • 65 g sugar
  • 4 g salt
  • 95 g egg yolks
  • 125 g butter
  • 120 g sultanas
  • 90 g candied mixed peel


Day 1:

  • Late in the morning or early afternoon, prepare stiff sourdough levain. (40% hydration). See notes if unsure how to make it. Leave the levain to at least double in size, which will take 5-7 hours.
  • Once the starter is active and bubbling, mix water and sugar in a bowl of your stand mixer. Add stiff levain and flour and get your mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment running on slow speed, for about 10 minutes.
  • Once incorporated, increase the speed. Start adding butter one bit at a time, and carry on kneading until completely incorporated, for about 10 minutes. Then one-by-one add the egg yolks knead until well incorporated, again for about 7-8 minutes.
  • Scoop the dough into a bowl (ideally a narrow, high rimmed dish) and leave to triple in size, for 12-16 hours (overnight) at room temperature (ideally 22-25°C). If the temperature is lower, leave it for longer.
  • Mix all the ingredients for the honey mix and leave them in the fridge covered overnight.

Day 2:

  • In the morning, mix strong flour and malt, then add first dough that should have tripled in size overnight. Knead well in a stand mixer for about 10 minutes. Then add sugar, honey mix, salt and butter and keep on kneading until fully incorporated, for about 7-8 minutes. One by one start adding the egg yolks, mixing to fully incorporate the yolks into the dough before adding another one. Finally, reduce the speed to the mininmum and mix in orange and lemon peel as well as raisins.
  • Insert 2 bamboo skewers (see photos above) into each panettone paper mould (we used 2x500ml moulds). You will use the skewers to hand the panettone upside down to stabilise after baking. Divide the dough into the prepared moulds and let it prove for 18-24 hours in a warm spot (around 20-22°C is ideal). But go by size of your panettone - it should a little more than double before it's ready to bake.
  • Bake at 180°C for 40-45 minutes ( adjust cooking time based on the size of panettone. When cooked, a skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean. We baked ours for 45 minutes for 2x500ml moulds). When baked, hang them upside down for about 12 hours to stabilize the crumb (see photos above).


Mix 20g starter (100% hydration) with 25ml of water and 40g flour. This will make 85g of stiff sourdough starter, and you will only need 70g for this recipe, but it's always best to make some more to allow for all the starter that will stick to the sides of the bowl and the spoon. 


Sodium: 1567mgCalcium: 200mgVitamin C: 14mgVitamin A: 3553IUSugar: 155gFiber: 8gPotassium: 765mgCholesterol: 1023mgCalories: 2168kcalTrans Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 29gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 58gFat: 101gProtein: 32gCarbohydrates: 293gIron: 10mg
Keyword Christmas Baking with Sourdough, Homemade Panettone, Italian Christmas Bread, Panettone with Sourdough, Sourdough Christmas Baking, Sourdough Panettone
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