Panettone is that sort of in-between holiday's sweet bread you find almost everywhere nowaday. At it's best, it means lovely pillows of yellow dough,studded with fruity goodness permeated with orangey essences, like fior di Sicilia for example.
I've had my share of commercially mass produced panettone, often overly perfumed and sickenly sweet. To be fair to panettone, which is a bread, I would just rather make it myself, which I have with a modicum of success, but mostly failure. Probably it's just timing along with finding a just right formula, making it once or twice, then adapting once I've learned the basics.
Without molds, I monkey-rigged the recipe (it kind of looks like a pirate hung from the yard arm, no? Arrrgh!).
Actually, in the end my panettone looked more like scamorza hanging upside down in a salumeria rather then a delicate sweet bread. Mind you, I veered from traditional in all respects and bastardized this panettone, without any candied fruit or fior di Sicilia. And instead of all butter I added olive oil. So far as flavorings, I used cherries, almonds and grated orange zest and cardomon.
I molded it in a square bain marie, with the help of parchment paper. It rose up square shaped rather then the familiar usual round. I hung it using butchers twine.
In the end, it was delicious.