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Grana Padano

Panettone 1 & 2

La Credenza: innovation and originality, always

Giovanni Grasso  Igor Macchia

Staying innovative, growing to a level of true quality, remaining a reference point of the haute cuisine of a city – Turin – and of Italy and doing it constantly for more than fifteen years is no mean undertaking. And that is exactly what the chefs, Giovanni Grasso and Igor Macchia, have done with the Ristorante La Credenza in San Maurizio Canavese, just outside Turin. Giovanni’s wife, head of bridge in the dining room, highly experienced with wine, possessing style without baubles and thus generating trust, always pleasant and efficient, Franca Grasso and a team proud of taking part in a project as ambitious as it is demanding are there to accompany us.
La Credenza obtained a Michelin star in 2008, the latest of a series of prestigious national and international awards. Igor and Giovanni complement each other in an exemplary manner.


Both have the same veneration of the best prime materials; both love innovation and originality, which does not mean astound at any cost but rather to journey – at times to fly – and then to return home to tradition, as young ones return to their grandparents’, joyously, even if they do not share the same style of dressing. And as far as travelling is concerned, at La Credenza, exotic spices have also always been at home, the ones that the two cooks brought back from their trips, ones that still entered no Italian kitchen. It is almost always Igor, with his creative, talented and, one could even say, slightly crazy inspiration, who brings to the plate the philosophy of La Credenza; for example in the form of scallops marinated in lemon and juniper, honey sauce, sauté and fried vegetables and smoked yellowtail with cauliflower cooked at low temperature and pink grapefruit sauce. It is difficult for frequent guests to get bored when reading the menu, not to speak of those who seldom frequent the restaurant.
Also at the presentation of the panettone, prepared for them by Francesco Elmi, Igor e Giovanni showed their inexhaustible streak of creativity and modernity.



Panettone - The authentic recipe by Francesco Elmi


Panettone is a traditional bread enriched with valuable ingredients, originally prepared and enjoyed in Milan all year around, then in Italy for Christmas and New Year.

Ingredients, for making 5 panettoni

First kneading

  • 450 gr sugar
  • 400 gr water
  • 600 gr egg yolks
  • 400 gr natural yeast (the weight to be used will depend on the maturity of the yeast)
  • 1000 gr flour W380/420 P/L 0,50 – 0,60
  • 650 gr butter
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Dissolve the sugar in 260 gr of water, add the egg yolks, the flour and the natural yeast broken up into small clumps, knead until it’s elastic and add the rest of the water, then finally the butter at room temperature. Let rest 12 to 14 hours at 25°C; the correct leavening is obtained with the dough at 26°C . It should triple in volume.

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Ingredients, second kneading

  • 250 gr flour W380/420 P/L 0,50 – 0,60
  • 100 gr sugar
  • 150 gr egg yolks
  • 150 gr butter
  • 30 gr salt
  • 6 gr vanilla pods
  • 600 gr sultanas pre-soaked and dried
  • 600 gr candied fruit (300 gr orange peel,300 gr citron peel)


With the flour knead the first kneading until is elastic add the sugar and the egg yolks, knead thoroughly and add the butter and salt, then add the fruit.

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Let the dough rise for one hour, divide into portions, let rest another hour, then pirlare (to make the dough round) and place in the moulds.

Let rise another hour and levitate at 30°C for 5 to 6 hours. Bring to room temperature and bake at 155 -160°C approximately 60 minutes for each kilo. When taken from the oven, turn upside-down for at least 3 hours; put in bags the next day.

The above indicated natural yeast is the sour dough produced after having strengthened it at least three times, each time with the proportion of natural yeast being three to one, and having been left to ferment at 28°C for three hours after each kneading.

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For me, the natural yeast is the biggest satifaction of this work; therefore it is difficult to express all of the aromas and characteristics in just a couple of lines. I have conserved my yeast in water according to Rolando Morandin’s school, and have been using it ... for the last 18 years, and I use it all year long.

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Recipes Editor and La Vita è Dolce Worldwide Tour Coordinator: Elena Ruocco .

Photos: Paolo Della Corte- FOOD REPUBLIC


What we don’t know about Panettone and what no one will ever say


In an exclusive interview, Stanislao Porzio, food commentator and through-and-through panettone expert, who has written many articles and the most complete book on the topic, talks about history, legend, secrets and curiosities of Panettone, a veritable icon of the Italian Pasticceria.

Stanilslao Porzio, a Milan based writer and gastronomy researcher, is a man with a great passion: panettone.

He has always understood however, that the best way to promote this unique icon of the Italian pasticceria, a great symbol of the city of Milan, is to put aside legends and folklore and stick to history and facts. For this reason he has written a book (in Italian) on Panettone, the king of the Italian Christmas dinner but also one of the most counterfeited Italian desserts around the world. Stanislao Porzio also promotes Re Panettone, an annual fair where some of the best Italian pastry chefs, go to prepare, on the spot, the most exquisite Panettone. We have asked him 10 questions on this object of his passion.

Q. The legend aside, what is the most believable origin of Panettone?

A. Panettone, as we know it today, is the result of the evolution of the breads enriched with valuable ingredients; such breads were prepared for religious feasts, a tradition present in all the cultures stemming from Christianity. In fact in Milan, this is documented by a manuscript conserved in this city’s Ambrosian Library. It goes back to the 1470s and was authored by Giorgio Valagussa, the preceptor of the House of Sforza. In the text, a dialogue between the master and his pupils is narrated about the Ceremony of the Log that had been celebrated by family of the Duke since time immemorial. On the night of 24th December, a huge log was placed in the fireplace. This log was supposed to burn until Epiphany. The pater familias, after having sprinkled it with wine and set it ablaze, cut from each of “three great loaves of wheat bread,” a symbol of the Trinity, a “particle” (Valagussa uses precisely this eucharistic term), which was to be set aside until the following year. Of course, all the remaining slices were distributed among those present.


It should be of no surprise that these great loaves contained nothing other than wheat; in those times it was a highly valued ingredient; usually a mixture of far less noble cereals was used for bread, to the extent that the majority of the bakers had permission to bake bread with wheat alone only at Christmas time.
As time went by, this Christmas wheat bread was enriched and, in Cherubini’s Milanese-Italian dictionary of 1839 under the entry Panatton o Panatton de Natal, we find; “A kind of bread garnished with butter, eggs, sugar and raisins or sultanas.” The candied fruit was still missing, but more than anything else, the yeast is not mentioned. Indeed, there is an illustration dated post-1848 by Fiquelmont, an Austrian official, which portrays, according to its caption, “… two panatoni below the arm.” What is odd is that they are as flat as two focacce. As far as I know, the first recipe that clearly speaks of yeast, that is of the yeast mother, of course, is Pasta per far panatoni, dough for making panattone, handed down by Gian Felice Luraschi in his Nuovo cuoco milanese economico, New Economic Milanese Cook, from 1853.


Q. Produced on an industrial or in the artisan way (pasticceria)? Which Panettone is really the authentic one?

A.The first industrial panettone was produced in the establishment of Motta in viale Corsica. The great Angelo, since the laboratories that it had between piazza Missori, via Unione and via Falcone were already bursting, in 1930 already had its sights a large building, then in the outskirts of Milan. In 1935 the magazine L'illustrazione italiana already reported the existence in the company of an oven with a conveyer belt, thirty metres long, made specifically for panettone.
In reality, Angelo Motta was born a pasticceria artisan. Basically, in the establishment of viale Corsica, he had done nothing other than transfer the same standardized and mechanized artisan procedures to a much larger scale. The yeast mother remained the same, and the same yeast mother remains in the company’s industrial production today.
In 2009, industrialised producers have become more and more sophisticated. In comparison with the average artisan, they have many advantages; they have more space, machinery and R&D laboratories. Imagine now that it appears that resources of Bauli and Motta are about to merge. The artisan can get revenge only if he has the experience, the self-abandon, the desire to excel and a pinch of naiveté. It would help to suffer from insomnia too.


Q. Is the authentic recipe that of the Denomination of the City of Milan (DeCo)? Tall or Flat?

A. The DeCo recipe is basically that of Anna Gosetti della Salda’s monument to gastronomy, Le ricette regionali italiane (The Italian Regional Recipes), Milan, Solares, 1967. But there are many others; you only have to page through Il panettone of yours truly.
Tall or flat? We had left the panettone really flat until the middle of the nineteenth century. Then it was levitated a lot, but only to become a hemisphere, because it was baked without a mould. The real difference was imported by Angelo Motta in the ‘20s, or according to Luigi Mora in his Il panettone alla milanese e come si fabbrica (the Panettone alla Milanese and How it is Made), Varallo Sesia, 1955, by a certain Dragoni with a pasticceria in via Torino at the beginning of the 1900s. They posed themselves the following question; how can the panettone be made into a desert richer in butter and eggs while wanting it to levitate decently? It was noted that the more it was loaded with grease, the less brilliant the levitation proves to be. The paper band or pirottino was the answer. Impeding the dough from spreading itself out, the desert rose.
So back to the question of tall or flat, I would say that these days it is a question of fashion. The panettone was born flat, then industry, starting with Motta, turned it into a champagne cork. Then, many pasticcieri as well as some industries turned to more limited height although still held by a paper band. The “traditional”? I repeat, it’s a question of fashion.


Q. And a desert that definitely cannot be made at home?

A. Family cookbooks became popular in the twentieth century, whereas in previous centuries these books were directed exclusively to professional cooks. Well then, not only Gosetti della Salda but also the Talismano della Felicità (Talisman of Happiness) by Ada Boni, released for the first time in the ‘20s, has a recipe for panettone, while Artusi, in his Scienza in cucina (Science in Cuisine) cites the much simpler Panettone di Marietta, Marietta being his Florentine housekeeper. Although after these there are at least ten recipes following, the point is that the preparation of a panettone is so long and complex, that to execute it at home is more an undertaking of extreme sport for telling your grandchildren that an objective within the reach of even a capable home cook.


Q. Is Panettone for the winter alone? Would you eat it in summer time?

A. Until a century ago, it was eaten all year round, as we find in letters of illustrious men and women and bills of pasticcieri; other than registering a jump of sales around Christmas.
Personally, I also eat it in the summer. It has to a certain extent become popular since Davide Paolini, the gastronaut, launched the Panettone Fair in August in Milan, Marittima, of course.

Q. At which meal should it be eaten?

A. Breakfast, lunch, tea, supper. In wintertime it would be a good idea to leave it bit on a radiator to intensify the aromas.

Q. At the end of a meal, do you eat it “liscio” or do you have it accompanied with cream? And while we are on the point, which is the correct way?

A. It depends. Mascarpone creams accompany it well, as do limoncello and hazelnut creams; see Alfonso Pepe and Sal De Riso’s versions of Campania’s pasticceria. What is certain is that what is great about panettone is in the dough; if that isn’t great, then add some impalpable ganache or other, so that the panettone stays very bad.

Q. What do you drink with a panettone?

A. At breakfast and in the afternoon; milk, coffee, cappuccino. At teatime, I don’t know. After lunch and after dinner; sparkling moscato, or even better, fermo (still). Even raisin wines fit in well.


Q. Outside Italy, have you run into, directly or not, absurd imitations?

A. I have eaten an industrial one in France that was nothing special. I brought one from Brazil and it was rather interesting, although industrial and a hair over spiced. The Bauducco brand; a family of Piedmontese emmigrated to Brazil in the ‘50s. Now they are the kings of Christmas desert in South America, where it has become very popular, thanks also to Motta Perù (maybe it will overtake the one alla Bauli…).

Q. What don’t we know about panettone and what no one will ever say?

A. The most famous legends about panettone – Pan de Toni (Toni’s Bread), Ughetto degli Atellani, Suor Ughetta (Sister Raisin) – were all invented intentionally in the second half of the nineteenth century. They show us nothing about the true origins of the desert but a lot about the society that told them. And because it was the period in which Milan was establishing itself as a business centre, they tell stories of professional, business fortunes; the one about Toni, the brilliant cook’s helper of the Duke’s kitchen who saved Ludovico il Moro’s Christmas party, the one about the entrepreneurial Ughetto, who leaves the nobility to become a baker and to become rich, or then, the one about Suor Ughetta, who changes the poor leftovers of the convent’s pantry into the ingredients of a desert that the nuns then sell by the thousands, thus placing on steady foot their flimsy economy.


An innovative Panettone at La Credenza


This version of Panettone, realised by Igor Macchia and Giovanni Grasso of La Credenza Restaurant (Turin – Italy), the first step of La Vita è dolce Tour, is inspired by the tradition of the Italian Christmas dinner, at the end of which panettone is served with dried fruit, tangerines and oranges. The same elements are in this recipe however with quite unusual forms and textures.

La Credenza: Panettone, tangerine and dried fruits

The recipe by Igor Macchia and Giovanni Grasso.

Panettone sauce


  • 300 gr. Traditional panettone (see Francesco Elmi recipe)
  • 900 gr. Full cream milk
  • 300 gr. Full cream milk
  • 100 gr. Panettone
  • 0,9 gr. Iota gelatine


Break up the panettone into irregular pieces. Boil the 900 gr full cream milk and pour over the 300 gr panettone. Put aside. Lightly toast the rest of panettone in a non-stick pan and then soak it in the 300 gr of cold full cream milk. Cool the two preparations in a blast chiller and mix them together. Leave the infusion for 15 hours. Strain the infusion in a fine-meshed chinoise lined with a cloth. Strain the liquid again(approx 650 gr) in a tea strainer. Put aside 50 gr of this aromatised milk. Add the gelatine to the remaining, mix with an immersion blender then heat to 80°C in the microwave. Cover with kitchen film and cool in the blast chiller. Once cool pour in the aromatised milk put aside. Place in fridge.

Caramelized Pine nuts


  • Dry pine nuts
  • Sugar syrup 1/1


Put the pine nuts in a large bowl and prepare the sugar syrup and pour it over the pine nuts until they are completely covered. Cover with kitchen film and let it rest for 12 hours. Drain the pine nuts and bake them in hot oven 140°C for 4-6 minutes, toss them constantly, and finish baking at 180°C for another 2-4 minutes. Keep in an airtight container.

Caramelised almonds


  • 100 gr. egg white
  • 100 gr. almonds sliced
  • 100 gr. Castor sugar
  • Softened butter to grease the pan


In a large bowl mix delicately all the ingredients except the butter. Grease a baking pan with the softened butter and pour the almonds in. Spread out with a curved spatula and bake in the oven at 170°C for 6\8 minutes, lower heat to 160°C and continue to bake 3\5 minutes longer. Stir often to avoid the formation chunks of sugar and almonds. Keep in an airtight container.

Chocolate walnuts


  • 20 gr. walnuts
  • 50 gr. dark chocolate 72%
  • 10 gr. cocoa butter


Melt the chocolate with the cocoa butter. Cut each walnut in 4 parts, then dip them in the chocolate. Cool them in the blast chiller and put aside.

Pomegranate jelly


  • 100 gr. pomegranate juice
  • 1 gr. Kappa carrageenan jelly


Add gelatine to the cold juice, mix with an immersion blender, boil, and strain into chosen moulds. Cool in the blast chiller, cut into small cubes. Keep in the fridge.

Pomegranate juice with Xanthan gum


  • 100 gr. pomegranate juice
  • 1,2 gr. Xanthan gum


Mix all the ingredients well with an immersion blender. Keep in the fridge-

Tangerine jelly


  • 100 gr. tangerine juice
  • 1 gr. Kappa carrageenan jelly


Add gelatine to the cold juice, mix with an immersion blender, boil, and strain into chosen moulds. Cool in the blast chiller, cut in small cubes. Keep in the fridge.

Tangerin juice with Xanthan gum


  • 100 gr. tangerine juice
  • 1,2 gr. Xanthan gum


Mix all ingredients with an immersion blender. Keep in fridge.

Orange jelly


  • 100 gr. Orange juice
  • 1 gr. gelatine kappa


Add the gelatine to the cold juice, mix with an immersion blender, bring to boil, strain into chosen moulds. Put in the blast chiller cut into cubes the size of candied fruit. Keep in fridge.

Orange juice with Xanthan gum


  • 100 gr. orange juice
  • 1,2 gr. xanthan gum


Mix all ingredients with an immersion blender. Keep in fridge.

Mix for Toasted Panettone


  • 100 gr. liquid cream
  • 100 gr. milk
  • 40 gr. sugar
  • 2 nr. whole eggs
  • 2 nr. egg yolks
  • 1 nr. stick vanilla


While cold, mix all ingredients. Keep in fridge.

Preparation of the dish


  • Panettone sauce (40 gr. per portion)
  • Panettone cut in rectangles 3,5x 5x3,5 cm
  • Mix toasted panettone
  • Clarified butter
  • Fruit jellies
  • Fruit with xanthan gum sauce
  • Caramelised pine nuts
  • Caramelised almonds
  • Chocolate walnuts
  • Dried fig brunoise
  • Date brunoise
  • Crushed pistachios
  • Cane sugar


soften the panettone with the egg and cream mixture, then scald it in a non-stick pan with the clarified butter. Strain, sprinkle with cane sugar and caramelise with a pastry blow torch. Pour the panettone sauce into a bowl, spread it out with the back of a spoon, in the centre place the panettone, add the dried fruit, three candied fruit gelatine for each type and three drops of xanthan sauce for each type.


The unbeatable Italian sweet-end of the meal (VIDEO)


Pasticceria or pastry is an essential part of Italian cuisine and “La Vita è Dolce” is an initiative promoted by itchefs-GVCI for the appreciation of Italian pasticceria around the world. It aims at promoting the sweet end of the meal experience, a traditional expression of Italian amenities and good living, at the centre of which is found il dolce, the dessert, accompanied by wines, liqueurs and coffee.

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