Sweet Essentials – Traditional Italian Holiday Breads

Perbellini PanettoneFor those with even a remote connection to Italian heritage, panettone and pandolce are essential components of the Christmas holiday. Enjoy either of these traditional breads at the end of the meal paired with a glass of sweet wine such as Recioto di Soave or Moscato d’Asti.

Our favorite panettone is made by the Perbellini family in Bovolone, Italy. They allow their dough to rise a lengthy 36 hours to develop complex aromas and flavors. The breads are baked in paper molds, sealed in a light plastic for freshness and wrapped in decorated paper. Their classic panettone Anni 1900 is studded with golden sultanas and candied citron, and has hints of rum and vanilla. Offella d’Oro, based on a traditional Nadalin recipe, is enriched with butter and topped with caramelized walnuts. The simplest bread, Pandoro, has a beautiful tower shape with a plain, golden interior.

Another traditional Christmas bread, Pandolce Genovese is coming to us from a small bakery started in 1896 by Luigi Ferretti and now run by his grand-daughter Stefania and her husband Marcello. It just arrived in the shop today for the first time and we have several varieties to choose from: the classic recipe studded with candied fruit and raisins, fig and walnut, and hazelnut with chocolate.