Pandolce Genovese Recipe

by cakeduchess on December 7, 2011 · 35 comments


Christmas time in Italy is truly magical. The cities are filled with spectacular lights and little markets. Everywhere you visit you may be offered panettone or pandoro.
Panettone derives from the Italian word “panetto”, a small loaf bread. I love panettone and pandoro and hope to bake one this Christmas.
In the stunning Ligurian region of Italy, they make pandolce. This is a recipe I found in an older Saveur book I have that is all about Italian food. I also found a great Nick Malgieri recipe. I made this one instead and hope to try Nick’s one day soon.
This slightly sweet fruit-and-nut-studded bread is sort of like biscotti and in my opinion, much better than a fruitcake. It’s dense and not as fluffy as panettone or pandoro. The smell is heavenly while it’s baking. I made two different kinds yesterday. One with currants and raisins. In the second one I added diced dried plums, dried apricots, currants, and raisins. Honestly, they were both fantastic!

Don’t be disappointed when your timer beeps letting you know your dough is ready to bake. It will look practically the same as when you put it in your greased bowl. I told you, it’s dense and it barely rises. pandolce-genovese-genovese-christmas-bread-2
I will be making this again for Christmas gifts and also for Christmas morning. Simple, rustic and delicious.

I would love to share this Pandolce Genovese with Bread Baking Day #45. :) This month’s Bread Baking Day #45 is the Christmas Edition. The event created by Zorra and this month is hosted by the lovely Cindystar.

 Bread Baking Day #45 - Xmas  Edition (last day of submission January 1, 2012)

I am also sending my Pandolce Genovese to the darling Susan of Wild Yeast for Yeastspotting.

Pandolce Genovese-Genovese Christmas Bread
adapted from: Saveur Cooks Authentic Italian 


1⁄2 tsp. active dry yeast
1⁄2 cup warm milk
1⁄2 cup butter, softened, plus additional   for greasing
3⁄4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. fennel seeds (I omitted)
1⁄2 tsp. ground coriander (I omitted)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 tsp. orange flower water (I used 4 more tsp of vanilla)
3 1⁄2 cups flour


1⁄2 cup dried currants
1⁄3 cup golden raisins
1⁄3 cup finely chopped candied (I used grated zest from one orange )
orange rind
1⁄3 cup pine nuts

Prepare the filling ingredients and set aside in a small bowl.
Dissolve yeast in milk in a small bowl. Set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat butter in an electric mixer and gradually add sugar, beating until mixture is light and fluffy. Mix in the egg, vanilla, and orange flower water, and mix thoroughly.
Add milk and dissolved yeast and mix. (Mixture may appear slightly curdled.)

Switch to the dough hook and gradually add flour, mixing thoroughly.

When dough is smooth, mix in currants, raisins, orange rind, and pine nuts. The dough will be moist. Transfer dough to a large greased bowl. Cover with a clean dish towel and set aside in a warm place to rise for 3–4 hours. (Dough may only rise a little; this is a dense bread.)

*When you put the dough in the greased bowl, make sure it is smooth on top because when it ready to bake, you will just transform it directly from the bowl to the parchment lined baking sheet.
Preheat oven to 375°. Your dough may be sticky. If so, wet your hands before transferring the dough to your parchment lined cookie sheet. Shape into a 6″ round and make a tic-tac-toe (#) pattern on top of the bread with a sharp knife.

Bake until golden, 45 minutes to 1 hour. *I checked my bread after about 40 minutes and lowered the heat to 350 and tented it with aluminum foil so it wouldn’t brown too much more during the remainder of the baking time.

Cool completely. To serve, cut or break into small pieces and serve with sweet wine, if desired. (Store in an airtight container.)

I hope you enjoy this delicious Italian Christmas Bread. :)What special traditional recipe do you bake during the holidays?

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Francesca December 7, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Che bello, me lo mangerei tutto! Bravissima! Ciao da Roma!


Emily Malloy December 7, 2011 at 3:59 pm



Kiri W. December 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Oh wow, what a pretty, pretty loaf! It reminds me a little bid of Christmas Stollen, a staple in Germany. :) Wonderful!


Val December 7, 2011 at 5:07 pm

I’ve only ever tried panettone and while this bread shares a lot of qualities it looks like I should be sampling this too. What a delicious bread for celebrating the holidays :)


KonstantKraver December 7, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Lovely, I am always looking for traditional Christmas Breads to add to my table on Christmas morning !:)


bananamondaes December 7, 2011 at 8:42 pm

This looks great. My parents love fruit loaves – so will be making this for them for Christmas.


Cher December 7, 2011 at 11:06 pm

I love these types of breads – there is something so amazing when they pop out of the oven.


Maggie December 7, 2011 at 11:16 pm

This is a perfect Christmas holiday bread. Hearty, slightly sweet and delicious. Your recipients are lucky to receive this bread!
My favorite holiday treat to bake is shortbread. I make about 10 batches, give a lot away and then freeze the rest to eat for a couple months after Christmas.


Ken│hungry rabbit December 7, 2011 at 11:33 pm

The scent of this bread coming out of the oven must be magnificent.


Claudia December 7, 2011 at 11:44 pm

That is one inviting, light looking pandolce – I hope to make it this holiday season (so many baked goods). And amen to “much better than fruitcake.” It will never be mistaken for a doorstopper.


Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 8, 2011 at 1:17 am

this looks and sounds…so good!

beautiful recipe AND pics!


Rachel December 8, 2011 at 1:46 am

What a beautiful bread! I love the rustic look and the way you describe it as dense and biscotti-like. I’m going to make this and perhaps adopt it as anew holiday tradition!


Becky December 8, 2011 at 1:56 am

This is a beautiful Christmas treat, for sure, stuuded with all of the dried fruit and nuts. Your pica are gorgeous, as well.


Cake Duchess December 8, 2011 at 2:48 am

lol! Yes, Claudia. It won’t for sure be mistaken for a doorstopper:)
Hi Maggie:)I love shortbread. What a great gift idea! I bet they all LOVE it:)
Thank you everyone for the pandolce love. If you are going to bake it, pls feel free to email me first with any ?’s:)


Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. December 8, 2011 at 3:23 am

How beautiful1!! And much better than fruit cake :)


Barbara | Creative Culinary December 8, 2011 at 4:53 am

I wish we were neighbors too; I would be over there now beating on your door for some of this lovely bread. I would bring the booze. We would concoct a ridiculous cocktail and laugh ourselves silly. Let’s pretend?


Amalia December 8, 2011 at 6:07 am

This looks so delicious and perfect for the holidays! I love the idea of giving these out as gifts to people :) And I just have to say, I love your photos, it really does this bread justice, it’s gorgeous!


sliceofmylyfe December 8, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Looks so much like the Panettone that I had baked a few weeks back. I wish I could see Italy during Christmas the way you describe it. Happy Holidays!


Jamie December 8, 2011 at 4:40 pm

I love the holidays in Italy! They are magical! And there is something so special about Italian Christmas treats and this bread is no exception! Fabulous!


Lizzy December 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Oh, I LOVE all your add ins…the more dried fruit, the better! And so much better than fruitcake :) I bet your house smelled incredible while this was in the oven~


Maria December 8, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Beautiful bread!


Feast on the Cheap December 8, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Just lovely. Reminds me of a homemade bread my mom used to make for us growing up.


MikeVFMK December 9, 2011 at 12:16 am

Now that’s a holiday bread for the whole family. Looks delish! Perfect for the season.


Kathy December 9, 2011 at 1:06 am

This is such a gorgeous looking bread. I love fruit and nut breads…I have to make this one. Thanks for the recipe.


Happy When Not Hungry December 9, 2011 at 2:43 am

This looks beautiful! I usually make panettone every year, but might have to try this. Thanks for sharing!


Nancy December 9, 2011 at 4:26 am

Ok, we needed at least a month for Thanksgiving recipes.. for Christmas, I am gonna need the next year! This sounds delicious Lora and so my kind of bread!! Amazing on it’s own I bet it would make great toast and bread pudding… heck, I am going to need a year and half to get through all these great recipes!


Kavi December 9, 2011 at 12:50 pm

I think you are awesome! :) Thanks for sharing!

If its not too much to ask, can you please go through the rules of my event > Jingle All The Way and link your post there? Would love to have your post on my space. Thanks!

Kavi | Edible Entertainment
Ongoing events:
Jingle All The Way &
Microwave Easy Cooking


Xinmei @ Pudding Pie Lane December 9, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Ooh I love the texture of this bread, and just the right mix of fruit. I look forward to trying this out!


Loveforfood December 10, 2011 at 3:47 am

christmas bread. awesome!


Paula December 12, 2011 at 10:15 pm

What a hearty and festive looking bread!

P.S. I love Nick’s Gingerbread Cookie dough recipe, make it all the time (this time of year) and it never disappoints.


Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction December 14, 2011 at 1:49 am

Wow, this looks fantastic! I’m always looking for new holiday recipes to try. Can’t wait to give it a try!


Cindystar January 3, 2012 at 8:59 am

A very lovely cake and … so patriottic for me! :-)
Perfect for festive gifts and hope your friends were glad to receive!
Hope you had a great holiday time, wish you a sparkling 2012 and bbd recap will be on-line soon, I am working at it! :-)


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