toasted, then soaked in an egg yolk-rich custard,
panettone makes a delightful bread pudding for
Christmas breakfast or dessert that night.
not the season without panettone. The mile-high domed
Italian Christmas bread, studded with raisins and candied
orange, light and airy in texture yet richly flavored with
eggs and butter, tastes like the holiday. Our mom had it at
Christmas always, a reminder of her Italian homeland, though
she had to travel far from our little Ohio village to the
one grocer for miles that carried it.
it every year. My sister-in-law even gets it for me when we
travel to her place in Charleston, S.C., for the holidays.
In recent years, given enough time, Iíve taken to making
it ó though that wonít happen this year; there wonít
be a whole day to set aside for the rising, kneading and
rising again. For me, the store-bought brands shipped from
Italian bakeries are nearly as delicious. Biting into the
yeasty goodness, I donít feel like Iím settling.
much as I love eating panettone straight-up, with a cup of
coffee as sole accompaniment, Iíve wondered about playing
with the sweet bread, using it to create other dishes. This
year, I bought several of the breads in their festive boxes
and stepped into the kitchen. Cutting up thick slices,
cubing big blocks, mixing in milk, cream, eggs, and
definitely breakfasting on extra pieces, Iíve answered my
question: Yes, panettone is delicious as a building block
for such dishes as bread pudding, French toast and panini.
are ideas to serve Christmas morning for breakfast or that
night for dessert. Oh, and what about a trifle?
from "The New Family Cookbook" by Americaís Test
Kitchen. Skip the amaretto if you prefer to go without
alcohol. Or sub with another spirit, like orange liqueur.
oven to 325. Cut about half a loaf of panettone into
3/4-inch cubes. (Panettone sizes vary, so plan for about 14
ounces or 12 cups cubes.) Spread cubes in a single layer on
two rimmed baking sheets. Bake, tossing occasionally, until
just dry, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Measure out 2
cups; set aside for the topping.
Whisk 9 egg yolks, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons
vanilla, 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest, 1 tablespoon
amaretto and 3/4 teaspoon salt together in a large bowl.
Whisk in 2 1/2 cups each heavy cream and whole milk. Add
remaining dried panettone cubes; toss to combine. Transfer
mixture to a 13-by-9-inch baking dish; let stand,
occasionally pressing on bread to submerge, until cubes are
well saturated, about 30 minutes.
Combine 2 tablespoons light brown sugar and 1 tablespoon
granulated sugar. Sprinkle reserved panettone over bread
pudding, pressing gently into the custard. Brush with 1 to 2
tablespoons melted butter; sprinkle with sugar mixture.
Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until
custard is just set and center of bread pudding registers
170 degrees, 45-50 minutes, rotating pan halfway through
cool until pudding is set and just warm, about 45 minutes.
8 to 10 servings
want to cut the slices thick, as the airy bread compresses a
lot. For each sandwich, cut two 1-inch slices of panettone.
Spread one side of one slice with filling; cover with top
slice. Toast in melted butter in a skillet until golden, 1
to 2 minutes per side. Or in a panini press or waffle iron
(but just 1 minute ó the bread browns quickly.)
spread. Nutella rules the market, but other brands have been
popping up in stores.
cheese sweetened with a little honey and finely grated
orange zest, about 1 teaspoon of each per cup.
your favorite recipe, subbing the bread with thick slices of
panettone; or use this one from Tribune archives.
Whisk together 6 eggs and 1 cup heavy cream in a bowl. Add 1
tablespoon sugar and 2 teaspoons each vanilla and cinnamon;
whisk until well combined. Pour mixture into a pie plate or
12 slices panettone; dip each into egg mixture, turning
once. Melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a nonstick
skillet over medium heat. Add enough bread slices to cover
bottom of skillet without overlapping. Cook until golden
brown, about 3 minutes. Turn; cook until second side is
golden. Remove slices to warm plate. Repeat with remaining
bread slices, adding butter as needed. Serve with maple