I love panettone. All year I look forward to Christmas when some of my favourite stores like Santa Barbara and Bosa start stocking it. This past Christmas, however, I just didn't get my fix. After we returned from our holidays in Ontario, I still craved it. So I baked some of my own.

It seems like a lot of work and time (think Slow Food!), but the result is worth it: buttery, tender and not as cakey and sweet as some of the commercial ones. For a special treat, you can also add chopped bittersweet chocolate to the dough.

Traditional panettone baking pans are somewhat difficult to find. I've seen some recipes use brown paper lined coffee tins and others use well greased brown lunch bags. On my last visit to the Gourmet Warehouse, they sold small traditional panettone paper molds. The recipe, however, works in any shape pan.