This is the time of year when we pull out the stops and bake the most finicky, delicate, glorious Italian holiday bread.
It’s called Panettone, and you can find it through Dec. 24 at our bakeries at Seattle Met Markets.
Let’s be clear: This is nothing like the dry, dense mass-produced versions that proliferate around the holidays. You know what we’re talking about, and it’s the reason why many people don’t get all that excited when they hear the word panettone. Trust us, ours is different.
Several days in the making, Grand Central Panettone is a lightly sweet, vanilla-scented bread swirled with bits of house-candied organic lemon and orange peel and plump organic Flame raisins and topped with crunchy pearl sugar. The dough is so tender and delicate, each Panettone must be flipped upside down and threaded onto a skewer to cool to keep it from deflating (check it out in this short video).
For bakers, it requires many steps and stages. Getting it right requires a lot of skill, which is why so few people bake it at home.
If you can get your hands on one of these, know a couple of things: Panettone keeps well, and some say it gets better with age. It’s delicious however you want to eat it – plain or toasted and buttered, served with coffee, tea or late-night glass of wine. And it makes a holiday-worthy version of French toast, perfect for feasting on after opening presents. It’s a delightful hostess gift (ours is wrapped in cellophane and tied with a beautiful bow), especially if you might be staying with said hostess overnight and having a slice for breakfast.
We’ll be baking several batches between now and Christmas eve, with regular deliveries to all the Grand Central locations in Portland and Seattle.
Enjoy December. Light some candles. Celebrate with love, kindness, and some genuine moments with friends and family. And Panettone.