Christmas is coming and we are ready for dinners and lunches with our families and relatives. The end of the meal is undoubtedly dominated by the Panettone, maybe the most known and appreciated Italian sweet.
But there are tons of stories and legends about the origin of this sweet. One of the most reliable brings us back to Ludovico il Moro’s court. After a mistake of the chef who burnt a sweet, an assistant named Toni remediated to it by mixing together flour, eggs, sugar, candies and raisins. Ludovico liked it so much that he named it Pan del Toni (literally Toni’s bread), from here the name Panettone. But it is more probable that Panettone is the result of a series of popular recipes and its name is due to its big dimension. Its long preparation required a cross-shaped incision before it was cooked, as a sign of benediction. Before the 50s it was low but then Mr Motta packed it with straw paper and made it rise 5 times more. This gave it its big dimension which we all know.
But the most asked question is: why raisins and candids? The answer is very easy: to preserve for a longer time the softness of the sweet. Consequently if you do not like raisins and candids, the only thing you can do is put them aside.
Due to the intensive research of quality from the clients, the handmade production, which at first sight appeared to be beaten by the industrial one, has risen. More and more people are looking for the original recipe of panettone from the original bakeries of Milan and of their wise bakers. At the same time this tendency has pushed the industries to improve their quality. Panettone is one of those cases in which the competition, instead of downward, is done upward. And that is handsome for us. And also for our families and friends. Besides a good handmade panettone is a perfect present.