Eritrea – Panettone

by Alkased Mamim

Eritrea is the African country located on the Horn of the continent. Borders Ethiopia in the east, Djibouti in the southeast and  Sudan in the west. In Eritrea almost every cuisine has a considerable event it stands for, like Shahan Ful for Ramadan period, also Panettone for Christmas and New year holidays. It prepares as breakfast

Panettone is towering round bread speckled mix of raisins, citrus, and almonds with a plush and buttery. It is prepared at home or can be found at bread groceries. This bread is famous in Eritrea, Italy, Australia, Northern and southern Europe.

Panettone originates from the Renaissance, a time when wheat production was at mild and scarce, it reached a point that it was made only at Christmas time.

Cooking of this cuisine it needs an experienced baker since it holds some traditional mixes and ways to prepare it. Normally it takes about two days to prepare this bread, for the time being it took more than that.

Panettone is the dough made with yeast and get refrigerated for up to 10 hours ( a full night), and then mixed with the soaked fruits before baked and served.

Fruits gives the twinkle style to the bread making it like a Christmas gift from the kitchen whereas the soft paper used to wrap the bread is used readily for handling. Careful look on the bread, you will see a toque (chef hat).

You may face some long errors with the recipe but hold on, these steps have saved the errors. Welcome to the Panettone recipe.


  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 orange zest
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter
  • Vegetable oil spray
  • For fruits to be used
    • 1/2 cup dark raisins
    • 1/2 cup golden raisins
    • 1/2 cup of pears or dried cherries

Procedures for cooking the recipe

  • On a bowl, mix up 1 cup of flour and yeast. Add water into the flour yeast mix and beat until fine smooth dough form, it must have a thick consistency of a cake.
  • Leave it for 30 minutes, at this time the size of the dough must be doubled. Mix up the remaining flour with salt.
  • Take bowl into the stand mixer or any mixer with a paddle attachment, start the paddle at a speed so that it moves the dough.
  • Add eggs one at a time, while they mix along in the dough, followed by vanilla, sugar and zest. Add 2 cups of flour and mix well with the moving dough. Lower speed and mix the remaining flour, make sure the dough is soft.
  • Since the dough will be sticky, switch to dough hook, at low speed add butter and mix. Add some flour if the dough is so sticky, however the softness and shyness should be kept constant.
  • Spray with vegetable oil the round dough in the bowl, wrap with a plastic tape over and refrigerate for 9 hours over whole night.
  • In another bowl, add the dark raisins, golden raisins, and water together, cover with a plate on top and soak it overnight.
  • On the the other day, drain the nuts. Spread the dough over the clean baking sheet. Mold the dough into a flat square and toss the fruits over it. Wrap the 3 sides to the center forming a letter shape, then close it withe remaining side to give a thick square shape.
  • Bring the sides to the center forming a ball like shape, reshape it using your hands to a clean ball shape and put while seam side down inside the panettone mold. Leave it for 2 hours until it reaches the top of the mold. Preheat oven to 375ºF 20 minutes before 2 hours are over.
  • Shape and cut the over sized top corners to get a nice look, top up with cold butter and place into the oven, low heat to 325ºF. Bake for 30 minutes, to keep the top from high browning, cover it with a foil paper, then keep bake it for 40-48 minutes more.
  • At this step our cuisine is ready. Cool it well and serve pieces with friends and family. Any drink is great depending on your favorite.
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