Cranberry Christmas Bread or Wanna Be Panettone

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Homemade Christmas bread, full of cranberries and baked in a paper pan is reminiscent of store bought panettone, but the dough features whole wheat pastry flour and is prepared in a bread machine.

I was first introduced to panettone the year I lived in France almost twenty years ago. My French family lived in the south of the country and exposed me to all sorts of wonderful Christmas traditions, like the Buche de Noel. The Italian bread called panettone was another.

A few years after I returned to the States, I started seeing it available seasonally in specialty shops. Nowadays even the drugstore sells it. However, the bright yellow packages we’ve purchased have yielded some awful tasting bread. This year, rather than waste our money on those breads, I made a wanna-be panettone.

I hesitate to call my recipe panettone. While this has the fruit and the pretty paper, it does not involve the proofing and variety of candied fruit that is in the real deal. Consider this a delicious, American knock-off.

Please note that my cheater way involves a bread machine and two 4-inch panettone paper molds. But, you can form the bread dough in the traditional way and bake it in a bread pan if you prefer.

What’s a favorite Christmas recipe of yours?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. I love Panettone and I love Cranberry Bread so I’m going to have to make your bread! I did link my Cranberry Bread which is completely different from yours to your recipe swap. It’s my favorite Christmas recipe and I’ve been making it for over 30 years! I felt that met the criteria for the swap. 🙂 Thank you for hosting this swap and Happy Holidays to you and your family!

    • Jessica Fisher says

      Thanks for linking up!

  2. Thanks so much for hosting this recipe swap–I look forward to finding some new favorites! 🙂

  3. Thanks for hosting! I’m linking up a banket tutorial. Banket is an almond paste filled pastry, which I’ve had for Christmas ever since I was a little girl. My mom let me take pictures of her making it last year so I have a tutorial posted.

  4. Thanks for hosting the linky. I stopped over from Big Bear’s Wife. Love the tutorial on pannetone! I linked up my: Gingerbread, Peppermint bark and Earthquake cookies. Hope you and others enjoy!

  5. I shared my cinnamon noodle kugel. Traditionally it has raisins in it but ugh I hate them, so I make it without. It’s so good but so bad for you! I only make it a couple of times a year. Thank you for hosting.

  6. I couldn’t choose just one recipe, so my post includes a few of the recipes I bake at Christmas time!
    I have never heard of a panettone before, but it sure looks and sounds good!
    Merry Christmas! 🙂

  7. My Italian in-laws can be truly over the top when it comes to food, but I admit I love their french toast made from panettone.

    I linked up the same thing I did last year, cranberry apple coffee ring, but your post reminded me of it & I couldn’t help myself! Now I have to decide between it and your panettone. Maybe both?

    • Jessica Fisher says

      Well, mine is definitely not traditional panettone. 😉

  8. I always see this really nice bread at my local produce market. It looks yummy. Thanks for the recipe. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂

  9. Love panettone and would love to try this. But where can one get the paper molds you refer to?

    • Jessica Fisher says

      I bought mine at the Sur La Table store, but you can order them online as well from Amazon and other kitchen stores.

  10. Rebecca says

    My husband’s Italian family always has panettone at the holidays, so I’ve come to love it! Last year, we hosted Christmas for my family, and I wanted to introduce them to that tradition. I searched everywhere, but the only panettone I could find was a really expensive one at a local Italian restaurant. I have no doubt that it was excellent, but not worth $25! Then, I discovered that Panera Bread had it. It was very good, and it was a much more reasonable price. I don’t remember specifically how much it cost, but whatever it was, I was willing to pay it. If you are looking for good panettone, but you don’t have time to make it, that’s a good place to get some!

  11. Oh my goodness! So many new “Pins” Thank you for hosting & Merry Christmas!

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