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PANDORO - Golden Italian Sweet Bread

PANDORO - Golden Italian Sweet Bread



  • For the sponge
  • 4 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • ¾ cup 100g all purpose or bread flour
  • For the first dough
  • 3 cups + 3 Tbs (380g pastry or cake flour)
  • 3 ¼ cups 435g all purpose or bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbs warm water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ stick (55g unsalted butter, room tº)
  • For the second dough
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup 200g sugar
  • Reserved mixed flours
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon or 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • 2 ½ sticks (285g unsalted butter, at room tº)
  • 4 Tbs + ½ cup all purpose flour for kneading (if necessary)
  • Confectioners' sugar (to serve)


  1. For the sponge
  2. In the bowl of the electric mixer, stir the yeast into the water and let stand 5 minutes, until foamy.
  3. Add egg, sugar and flour and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined.
  4. Let stand, covered with plastic wrap, until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  5. For the first dough
  6. Mix the two flours together. Measure 2 ½ cups of this mix that will be used for the first dough, and reserve remaining for second dough.
  7. In a small bowl stir the water with the yeast and let rest 5 minutes, until foamy.
  8. Add yeast mixture, sugar, eggs and flour to the sponge. Mix with the paddle attachment until well combined.
  9. Add the soft butter and beat until well blended.
  10. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  11. For the second dough
  12. Add eggs, yolks, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest to the first dough and beat well with the paddle attachment.
  13. Gradually add the softened butter and mix until well incorporated. Add reserved flour and salt in ½ cup additions.
  14. Change to the dough hook and knead 8 to 10 minutes. The dough should be soft, buttery and delicate.
  15. It should not clean the sides of the bowl completely, but add up to ½ cup more flour if the dough is still too wet.
  16. Place the dough in a buttered bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rest in a warm place until doubled in volume, anywhere between 2 to 4 hours.
  17. Sprinkle the top of the dough with the 4 Tbs flour. Turn out onto a well-floured surface and, with floured hands, cut the dough in half with a dough scraper or a knife.
  18. Shape each half into a loose ball and place in well buttered or sprayed star-shaped pandoro molds. Cover with a clean towel and let rise until doubled, between 2 ½ to 4 hours.
  19. Preheat oven 30 minutes before baking to 350º F /180ºC.
  20. Bake breads for 30 minutes. Reduce oven tº to 300ºF/150ºC and continue baking for another 30 minutes. If the top is too brown cover loosely with aluminum foil.
  21. Let cool on wire rack and unmold.
  22. Dust with confectioners' sugar and shake inside a cellophane bag before serving.