5 Holiday Breads

While most people know Italian food for its divine pizza, pasta, and gelato, many are unaware that Italy also boasts an impressive variety of holiday breads in its culinary repertoire. In fact, Italy has a longer tradition of holiday breads than any of the aforementioned foods!panettoneRoscioli

Here is a list of five must-try sweet breads when visiting Italy during the holidays:

Panettone – originally from Milan, this sweet bread contains candied orange, citron, and lemon zest. It is often served with a sweet hot beverage or sweet wine, and is the most well-known Italian holiday bread.

Pandoro – called pan d’oro (literally, “golden bread”) for its long history as the choice holiday treat of Italian nobles and aristocrats since the 1st century B.C. It’s a star-shaped sweet bread that is dusted with vanilla-scented icing sugar, so that it resembles the snowy peaks of the Italian Alps during Christmas.

Panpepato – the most versatile of the Italian holiday breads, panpepato has a wide range of possible ingredients, including almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest, cocoa, and honey. Each family’s recipe is different! (And they will all tell you it’s the best)

Panforte – hailing from Siena, panforte is the predecessor of the American fruitcake. Panforte translates to “strong bread,” probably in reference to its peppery flavor (in fact, it used to be called panpepato, “peppered bread”). It is made by dissolving sugar in honey, then mixing in flour, nuts, fruits, and spices.

Pangiallo – Lazio’s contribution to the holiday bread catalog. Made from a mixture of dried fruit, honey, and cedar candy, its invention dates all the way back to Imperial Rome.

pangiallo uned

For a taste of any one of these freshly baked breads, check out Forno Roscioli or Panificio Bonci!

, , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Responses to 5 Holiday Breads

  1. Anne December 18, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

    I want to try all of them!

    • Gina December 22, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

      @Anne You need to visit in December/January!


  1. Buccellati Sicilian Christmas Fig Cookies - GT Food & Travel - December 16, 2016

    […] December, holiday breads and desserts flood bakery shelves. Panettone may be the most popular Italian pastry served […]

  2. A Taste of Natale - Casa Mia | Italy Food & Wine Tours - December 8, 2017

    […] addition to holiday breads such as panettone and pandoro, Italians love to eat torrone during the holiday season. Read our recipe to make it at […]

  3. Italian Holiday Breads to Get You In the Spirit – Abbey Hastings - December 25, 2018

    […] what Christmas is all about right? Nostalgia. The romance of the past. Anyway, here’s a blog I wrote on the incredible tradition of holiday breads in Italy. Seriously, it’s pretty […]

Leave a Reply