Pandolce Genovese Recipe


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?

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