Panettone is available in two shapes: low and tall. Low panettone was born first, but it evolved thanks to the tall one.
The original low panettone
At the beginning Panettone was a kind of bread. Until the beginning of the twentieth century it was baked without using any molds [click here to get an idea of its appearance]. This was possible because total amount of fats contained in it had nothing to do with the 6 to 700 grams of butter per 1 kilo of flour and with the quantity of egg yolks used nowadays by pastry chefs. Today it is not possible to produce Panettone letting it leaven and baking it without using paper baking cups. The result would be a flat cake and not a panettone.
The tall panettone
Angelo Motta is the one who changed things. In the twenties he had to produce two hundred pieces of kulic for the Russian community in Milan. This job influenced him and he decided to enrich his panettone recipe with fats. He therefore decided to wrap it with straw paper in order to obtain a taller product. It is the birth of the mushroom shaped panettone which became the classic shape of industrial version of this product.
The modern low panettone
Pastry shops in Milan continued over the years to produce panettone in the low version. At first no paper baking cups were used. Once recipe was enriched in fats, use of paper baking cups became necessary. Today the two formats coexist and it is difficult to establish which one is the most widespread.