Your Very Own Gluten Free Panettone

So here we are in 2014! First,  I am very excited to start off the new year with  a recipe that I was busy trying in my kitchen. Second,  inspired by a reader’s request I have added a new page on my blog to request a gluten free recipe. If you are craving a dish that you don’t know how to make it gluten free, I can help to cook up  and post it for you.


Gluten free panettone 2014



Gluten free panettone made in Dec 2013


Around Christmas, I see Panettone being sold in every other store. I buy two or so for my family and inspite of my being gluten free, enjoy one slice and then pay with upset stomach. I never thought of baking my own because I had the impression that it was difficult to make and there are not many gluten free recipes on the web. However, when I saw Loretta’s panettone (on google+) I was very impressed and commented on how much I loved it. She gave me the link to Elizabeth’s gluten free panettone to try.



Gluten free panettone 2014



Gluten free panettone made in Dec 2013


My first two attempts failed miserably. Not only were they unappealing, but they were also dry and heavy. Yet, I was not dissuaded by my failures. I love experimenting and it keeps me little challenged in the kitchen. I rolled up my sleeves and decided to make it again. I was very careful this time in following each and every step and put to use some of the tips I’ve read on different blogs, particularly Loretta’s recipe. I have to say this time I was quite satisfied with the end result. The panettone  was gluten free light, sliceable, well textured with right amount of sweetness and a delicate aroma of vanilla and citrus. It can be kept at room temperature in airtight container for 3-5 days but after third day it starts to get little crumbly. The best way I find with all gluten free breads is to wrap them (sliced) in plastic wrap and place it in freezer and microwave before eating.



Before I leave you with the recipe here are some tips that would be helpful, if it’s your first time. The process is long, but is rewarding in itself. Panettone is made with high gluten (protein) flour which provides structure and stability. However gluten free flours are less robust than their wheat counterparts, so do not keep high expectations. It may not rise as well as traditional wheat panettone but definitely equals in deliciousness. I used Elizabeth’s recipe as a guide with minor changes.



In order to get good results when baking gluten free panettone, its best to have a weighing scale, instant read thermometer and a stand mixer with paddle attachment.

  • Measuring: There can be great variance in gluten free flours with inconsistent measuring. I suggest you measure all flours by weight but if you do not have a scale I have included volume and weight measurements for your convenience. To measure with a cup use ‘spoon and level’ method as described in this video.
  • Pre ferment: Traditionally, panettone is made with biga, a starter of flour, water and small amount of yeast, which is fermented for about 8-12 hours. You do not need hot water to activate the yeast. A room temperature or slightly warm water with a thermometer reading of 80-100° F works well.
  • Proofing: Once the biga is rested and the dough is combined the following day, the next step is proofing for the first rise. It is done at warm temperature, ideally around 74°F. Once the dough is risen to double in size, it is pressed down or folded gently with a rubber spatula to prevent over proofing. Thereafter, the dough is moved to baking and rested in a warm place for second proofing.
  • Baking: The last step is to bake the bread at 350°F until the internal temperature reads between 207-211°F.

If after following all the steps you fail to get a satisfactory result, don’t lose heart, you will get there with practice. The failed bread can still be used for making french toast or (bread) pudding.


Cooling panettone 2014


Update: November 19,2014

I have been trying since last year (2013)  to get a perfect gluten free panettone, finally I got one. I have updated the photos and the changes I made to get a better crumb and texture.  It doesn’t get any better than this!


Gluten Free Panettone

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Yield: makes one large loaf

A traditional Italian sweet bread with gluten free flour.


    For the Biga or yeast starter
  • 3/4 cup water, about 80°F
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 157 g ( 6 oz, about1 cup) white rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp xanthum gum
  • For the Fruit
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup candied peel (I used orange and lemon)
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tsp lemon extract
  • For the dough -dry Ingredients
  • 248 g brown rice flour (little less than 2 cups)
  • 35 g (1/3 cup) amaranth flour
  • 93 g (1/2 cup +2 tbsp) sorghum flour
  • 86 gm (1/2 cup) potato starch
  • 1.5 tsp xanthum gum
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp salt
  • 4.5 tsp active dry yeast
  • 100g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • -wet ingredients
  • 1 cup milk (2% or whole), about 100° F
  • 4.5 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter at room temperature
  • non stick cooking spray
  • 1.5 tbsp milk for brushing the top (optional)
  • Update: November 19, 2014 - Slight change in ingredients to make a better crumb and tender texture.
  • 215 g ( 1 1/2 cup) brown rice flour
  • 45 g (1/3 cup) tapioca starch
  • 55 g (1/3 cup) potato starch


    Prepare the biga or the yeast starter:
  1. Combine water and yeast in a small bowl. Stir. Allow mixture to stand until yeast dissolves. Whisk together white rice flour and xanthum gum in a small bowl. Add water and yeast mixture. Stir to combine. Mixture will be thick like dough. Cover with a plastic wrap and let rise overnight at a room temperature of 24° F.
  2. Prepare the fruit:
  3. Combine raisins, candied peel, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla and lemon extract in a small bowl. Stir. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature so that the flavors meld.
  4. Next day - Prepare the dough
  5. In a small bowl stir together milk and yeast. Allow to stand for 5 minutes.
  6. In a bowl of stand mixer, whisk together dry ingredients.
  7. With the mixer on low speed, add in yeast mixture, egg yolks, eggs, canola oil, honey and the flour. Mix on medium speed with flat attachment until dough is thick about 3-4 minutes.
  8. Add biga. Mix for 1 minute to combine. Scrape down bottom and sides of bowl with rubber spatula.
  9. With mixer on medium speed, add butter one tbsp at a time. Wait for each table spoon of butter to incorporate before adding next tablespoon.
  10. After all the butter is added, mix dough for one minute. Dough should be thick and smooth. Reduce mixer speed to low and add dried fruits. Mix until fruits incorporate through out the dough.
  11. Lightly oil medium bowl (where it has room to double) with non stick cooking spray. Transfer dough to greased bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise until double in size about 2- 2.5 hours.
  12. Stir dough gently with a rubber spatula.
  13. Generously grease a 12" bundt or tube pan with non stick cooking spray. Spoon dough into pan or panettone mould and smooth top with rubber spatula.
  14. Cover pan (don't cover if using the mould) with with greased plastic wrap and set aside until dough almost reaches the top of pan,about 1 hour.
  15. Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush the top of loaf with milk (if desired). Bake until the internal temperature of loaf reaches 207-211°F, about 45-50 minutes. Loaf will be golden brown. If it gets too dark before the internal temperature reaches 207, cover pan with a piece of aluminum foil and continue to bake.
  16. Invert loaf onto wire rack to cool completely or if you have used the mould then follow the update below.
  17. Update: November 19, 2014
  18. Remove from the oven and pierce metal skewers all the way through the panettone (including paper) 4" apart and approx 1" from the bottom. hang the panettone upside down over a large pot and cool completely before cutting.
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Linked to Gluten free Fridays, Allergy Free Wednesdays.

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34 thoughts on “Your Very Own Gluten Free Panettone

  1. I’m learning a lot with each visit to your blog like today. This is the first time I’m hearing the name “Panettone”. Congrats on your new Gluten-free page! I’m sure this will benefit a lot of your readers. Happy 2014! Not sure if you’ve seen my msg to you on G+. I’ve already sent out your goodie bag :)

    • Shirley, Panettone is Italian sweet bread with dried fruits in it. I am not sure about Singapore but at other places it is sold around Christmas. Yes I saw the tagged picture and now I am looking everyday in the mail for the goodies.

  2. Happy New Year my friend!
    I have had Panetonne but never bothered trying it in my kitchen. Your panetonne looks fab.
    Your gluten free recipe page sounds exciting and would be of great help to many i am sure.
    Best wishes once again :-)

    • Thank you and Happy new year to you, Taruna! You are not definitely not alone many people find the easy way to buy panettone from the store ( I was one of them) but trust me, it is such a satisfying bake that you will be pleased with the outcome. I hope the the recipe request page will help my fellow gluten free people to get started with healthy recipes. Thank you so much for your wishes.

  3. Hi Balvinder, I have been a reader from quite a long time, but commenting officially for the first time.
    Although I adore panettone,.. I don’t think I would have attempted making this after two failures. You did an amazing job and inspired me to bake. Thank you so much for posting. Love you !!!

  4. Great job Balvinder!! I had huge plans to make one this Christmas myself but as you know, my own knee issues slowed everything down. I’m glad to see a GF version and it looks every bit as good as the gluten one. I see you do eat a bit of gluten. What causes your discomfort? You can PM if you want!
    Great to see a Request page, I may take you up on that. I’ve been GF for 3 weeks now, I feel ok, not fabulous though! I was GF for almost a year right before I moved to CO but during the move and the stress, bread products creeped back in. I’ll try again.

    • Thank you dear, I have heard people experience pain on days when temperature is low. Was your pain because of the weather? I don’t know if stress could cause arthritis pain in knees. I can only hope you get better whatever makes your pain go away. Are you allergic to gluten?
      Nazneen, I don’t eat gluten on regular basis, nor do I get any craving for it. But I do cheat occasionally may be 3-4 times a year just to taste test.

  5. Your new ‘reader request’ feature is such a great idea, Balvinder! It’s unheard of and I’m sure many people will find it incredibly useful. And I applaud your efforts to make this – gluten free panettone! Seriously – regular panettone would have been impressive enough. I’m so impressed with how you worked on the recipe and I share your excitement – it is so nice to try something new and find a challenge you actually meet in the end. Great job, and a great start to the year!

    • Thank You Monica! I am hopeful that the request page will work for people who shy away from experimenting in the kitchen because gluten free baking or cooking can get complicated when you want the food to be delicious and healthy at the same time. I am actually very happy with this panettone but I want to experiment more to get the same texture as the traditional panettone has.

  6. Happy New Year Balvinder! Kudos to you for not giving up on the recipe despite initial disappointments. Like you, before this I did not know that there could be a gluten free version. And your idea of a request page shows how passionate you are about your blog. Great work!

  7. I am loving the panettone, actually never heard and can hardly pronounce the name. And I ain’t familiar with some of the ingredients either. Salute you for not giving up. Happy New year to you and everyone at home.

    • Shirley was also saying, she doesn’t know what it is.. probably it is not sold in Singapore and Malaysia. But you can always make your own. Happy new year! Much Love, xo

  8. Happy New Year!
    I have tried Panettone around the end of last year but not very impressed by it. Your recipe looks tasty with the addition of a variety of ingredients. I am sure your request page will be of great help for many. Keep up the good job!

    • I know exactly what you mean Sri. Panettone is difficult to make and I hope you will get success next time. happy New Year! About the request page, I really hope it helps people who want to transform a traditional recipe to gluten free.

  9. So glad, dear Balvinder, you could make such a panettone! It is not easy to make panettone and I think it may be even more difficult to make a gluten-free panettone. But you are a fighter and were victorious after only two failures. I think I’ve tried several times before making a classic panettone that tasted good ;) )
    Many thanks to have mentioned me!! I think we food lovers should help ourselves every time it is necessary.

    • I am so happy to hear that from you Loretta, I do a lot of trials in my kitchen and most recipes do not even go on the blog. I enjoyed making gluten free panettone, husband and daughter loved everything about it as much as I did. They now want me to make regular wheat panettone to compare in texture so that I can make more changes to the recipe if I want to. since they know I recreate the recipes until I am 100% satisfied. I might or might not for this recipe because it tastes absolutely delicious :)

  10. Bal , three times a charm , right ? Actually , the texture of your gf panettone looks like the one that I’ve seen at Serious Eats a long time ago ( I Googled it just to make sure lol ) Elizabeth’s version and yours look almost the same :D Good job !

    • Ah you are absolutely right! the panettone you saw on serious eats is the Elizabeth’s recipe. I believe serious eats is a resource where you can find recipes from multiple blogs and much more.

  11. Pingback: Kale And Broccoli Stir Fry | Simple Gluten Free Kitchen

  12. Hi Balvinder. wish you all the best in 2014 with abundance of joy and good health. Love your pannettone, very well baked. The texture look perfect, great to go with coffee.

    Best regards .

  13. Awesome!!! This looks amazing! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

    Hope your week is great! Can’t wait to see what you link up this week!

    Cindy from

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