Panettone for those of you not familiar with, is a light airy bread-like cake filled with raisins, and candied fruit (typically candied orange pieces). Today’s panettone comes in many flavors and shapes. Today, the panettone has been changed a bit in an effort to accommodate the more modern eaters. It’s not uncommon to see the bread-like cake in chocolate form, with out the traditional combinations of candied fruit, or in fact just plain. Let’s not forget, this holiday bread has been around for centuries, so why change it now?? My guess is that taste preferences have also evolved over the centuries.
Though the older generations continue to love the original version (myself included) which dominate the cafes and bakeries throughout Northern Italy over the holiday season, the new, younger generation isn’t so savvy to classicism. Instead, they prefer a “nutella panettone”, or a plain panettone, thus breaking with tradition. Well, I’m going to throw an additional category in the modern panettone, and that is the vegan panettone! The thought of being deprived a beautiful panettone this holiday season just didn’t sit well with me. It’s a treat my family has enjoyed for several decades and I wasn’t into the sacrifice because we were vegan. That meant, I had to get busy.
The Holiday cake-bread!
Though my version is obviously without the egg and butter portion, I feel my results were very traditional. Perhaps not as airy and light as the original, but the taste was spot on! This was an easy recipe to figure out. I compare it closely to the German cake called the “Hefe Napfkuchen”. This is in short, a bread-cake, with a yeast base dough. Like the Italian version, the dome cake is filled with candied fruit and raisins and topped with powered sugar after the bake. The two are very similar. Both are a yeast-based dough, both are considered a bread-cake, and both have the raisins and dried fruit. This recipe just requires a bit of time and patience. Both are required for the rising process, and the patience comes in the form of waiting until it’s cool before you remove it from the form.
As with every recipe, I encourage your own creativity. If you don’t have raisins and candied orange, then use another favorite dried fruit you may prefer. Personally, I’m quite thrilled with the outcome. I think the cake was light, airy, and the taste was spot on! Try for yourself, I’d love to hear your feedback on this classic Italian recipe.
- 3 cups flour whit, or half white/half wheat
- 3 TBS vegan butter soft, or melted
- 20 grams yeast fresh yeast, or 2 TBS dry
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cup plant based milk I use oat milk, warmed up to mix with yeast
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 zest lemon
- 1 cup dry fruit raisins, and or candied orange, or cranberries
- 1 TBS flax seed ground up, combined with water until thick and past like
- 3 TBS warm water for flax mixture
- Dome-cake form
- Preheat oven to 180 Celsius. Warm the milk on the stove until it's "warm", then combine with the yeast and let it sit for a few minutes until it's soft and activated
- take the time while the yeast activates to properly and diligently oil the dome cake form and sprinkle with bread crumbs
- combine the flax with the warm water and set aside (this is your egg binder)
- Combine all the ingredients and either with a mixer, or a wooden spoon, or your hands, mix until throughally combined.
- Set aside and let rise. Cover with a warm towel, and a plate and put in a warm spot.
- Just give it a few hours and the volume should double or tripple.
- once the volume is attained, transfer to baking form and let it rise again.
- Put into pre-heated oven, and bake for about 45-50 min, or until tester comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing from form. Serve and enjoy!
- Let cool completely before removing from form. Serve and enjoy!