Gastronomic Panettone

Turn Christmas leftovers into the perfect party starter with this panettone gastronomico recipe by Mario Matassa.
layered gastronomic panettone with cream cheese, salmon, rocket, ham and other savoury fillings

This savoury take on the classic sweet panettone has in recent years become a fashionable antipasto in Italy, often served before Christmas lunch.

Alternatively, prepared in the days after Christmas, I see it as the perfect vehicle for a good fridge clearance!

Typically, the layers of the panettone are stuffed with an alternating variety of fillings including smoked fish, thinly sliced cold meats, cheese and vegetables.

Round panettone moulds can be bought online and make the process effortless. Alternatively, use a high-sided cake tin between 15 and 18 cm tall.

TIP The fillings I have used here are: salmon and cream cheese; mozzarella, tomato and basil; gorgonzola and walnuts; roast ham, shredded carrot and mayo; prawns, cocktail sauce and rocket – but do improvise!

Gastronomic panettone recipe

MAKES: a 1 kilo panettone

PREPARATION: 30 minutes

RISING: 2-3 hours

BAKING: 1 hour 40 minutes


  • 300ml mineral water
  • 25g fresh yeast
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 800g plain flour
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 125ml Greek yoghurt
  • 50g unsalted butter (plus extra for lining the tin)
  • salt


  1. Gently warm the water, add the yeast and sugar, and stir to dissolve. Place the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. At this point, you can use a food mixer, if you have one, with the bread paddle attached. Add the eggs, the yoghurt and the butter, along with a heaped teaspoon of salt.
  2. Beat the mixture in the centre, incorporating some of the flour. Pour in the water and yeast and begin to mix until all the ingredients come together. If kneading by hand, turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for about 5 minutes until you have a springy, smooth dough.
  3. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise for about two hours, until doubled in size. Then knead the dough again for about 5 minutes, finally shaping it into a ball. At this point, if you are using a paper panettone mould, you can place the dough into the mould. If you are using a tin, grease with butter and line with oven paper.
  4. Place the dough into the centre of the oven and set the temperature to 20 degrees and the timer for 1 hour. This will kick-start a second rise. After 1 hour, increase the temperature to 150 degrees and continue to bake for approximately 45 minutes. At this point, if a stick comes out clean, the bread is cooked. If it doesn’t, allow an extra five minutes. Let the bread cool for 15 minutes before removing it from the tin. Once completely cooled, slice layers carefully from top to bottom and fill your gastronomic panettone however you please.

Recipe and photo by Mario Matassa

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