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Panettone and Pandoro: the traditional Christmas cakes

Panettone and Pandoro are rich in eggs and butter with a soft and light consistency.

Their origin is from different kinds of Christmas bread that were prepared in every region of Italy. However today we know that these mass-produced cakes come from the genius of their inventors: Angelo Motta who in 1919 opened his first bakery in Milan and Domenico Melegatti who patented the Pandoro in Verona.

The main difference between the origin of Panettone and Pandoro is this:

– The first comes from a local tradition lost in time and is the product of  a collective effort over the years;

– The second is the result of an invention which was patented as “Pandoro”, a very special Christmas cake, on a specific date: October 14th, 1894.

panettoneAt the beginning of the twentieth century, while the Panettone became a favorite first in the city of Milan and then in the whole of Italy, a pastry chef from Verona had a great idea: to improve the “Nadalin”, the traditional Christmas dessert of Verona, making it well risen, soft and light. The “Nadalin” was and is a yeast-based cake in the shape of a star, with raisins, pine nuts and granulated sugar. Domenico Melegatti decided to eliminate the raisins, pine nuts and granulated sugar as, in his opinion, they were all ingredients that hindered the leavening of the dough and prevented it from rising. Also he decided to add more butter and more eggs to increase softness and fragrance.
The name “Pandoro” probably derives from the ancient golden bread of the “Serenissima”, the Venetian republic. Once the aristocracy used to cover their bread with golden leaves to make it attractive.
After Domenico Melegatti began experimenting, a legend says that one of his assistants, experimenting an eight point star shaped mold, exclaimed ecstatically: “This bread is made of gold!!”
These delicious cakes will be the real attraction of our Christmas meals…….

Who among us has not experienced the excitement of preparing or tasting special bread?

The bread that I will prepare this year to accompany Christmas lunch is a “colored braid” that will also star as a centerpiece on the Christmas table.

Merry Christmas to everyone !!!!!!!pandoro_e_panettone

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