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Going Back to the 20th Century: The Evolution of Panettone

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Although Panettone was first created in the 15th century, in the early 20th century, two enterprising Milanese bakers began to produce panettone in large quantities in Italy. In 1919, Angelo Motta revolutionized the traditional panettone by giving it the tall domed shape. He did this by making the dough rise three times, for almost 20 hours, before cooking. This gave the cake its now-familiar light texture. The recipe was adapted shortly thereafter by another baker, Gioacchino Alemagna, who in 1925, gave his name to a popular brand that still exists today. The competition between the two actually led to the industrial production of the cake. As a result of this fierce competition, by the end of World War II, panettone became far less expensive and soon it became the country’s leading Christmas sweet. An Italian baking company based in Verona, now owns both Motta and Alemagna. Panettone has since found its way to many countries around the world and is enjoyed by millions each year during the Christmas season!

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