Total Time: 12.5 hours; 1.5 hours active
Panettone is a distinctive fluffy cake like bread usually enjoyed during the holidays. There are many variations, traditionally the bread usually contains a mixture of candied orange rind, dried fruit, or chocolate. If you received a Panettone loaf for Christmas, you’re probably wondering what to do with the giant loaf. The sweet pillowy Italian bread is pretty tasty the first few bites, but it’s a lot of bread to handle. Once you cut into the fluffy loaf, it’s almost impossible to finish it. The bread tends to dry out pretty quickly. Best solution, make this super easy overnight baked Panettone toast. If you serve this sweet treat to your guest in the morning, they’ll think you slaved away for hours in the kitchen. This is not a low calorie breakfast, so it’s the perfect dish to indulge in before making any New Years resolutions!
Base for french toast
1 loaf of crusty Panettone bread or brioche bread
1.5 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
8 eggs room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup of butter broken into chunks
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamon
handful of chocolate chips
handful of your favorite nuts (sliced almonds, pecan halves, walnut pieces)
handful of dried fruit cut into small pieces and soaked in brandy (apples, raisins, cranberries, pears, apricots, etc)
Apples or pears cut into small bite-size pieces.
1 tsp powdered sugar dusted over top for garnishing
pure maple syrup
Butter a 9” x 12” or two 8” x 8 “ pan.
Roughly cut the crusty Panettone into 1/2 inch squares, if the bread feels too moist, leave the cut pieces single layer on a tray to dry out on the counter for a couple hours (the more dry the better, the bread will soak up more custard).
Arrange bread pieces into the buttered pan. You don’t have to be neat, the more ridges and edges you have, the better, those areas will crisp up nicely when baked.
In a large bowl, whisk together the heavy cream and milk.
Add the room temperature eggs one at a time and whisk thoroughly making sure there isn’t any large chunks of eggs.
Mix in the sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until sugar dissolves.
Now comes the fun part. You can start mixing in the optional ingredients you want. Be creative, you’re not limited to the ingredients listed.
Pour the custard mixture over the prepared Panettone in the pan, making sure to even distribute your add-ins and every piece of bread is covered.
Break butter pieces up into small chunks, and scatter the pieces on top of the bread.
Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight for the bread to soak up all that goodness
In the morning, preheat the oven to 350.
Bake the Panettone toast covered for 30 mins with the foil still on, then uncover and bake for an additional 25-30 mins until all the liquid is set, and the bread is baked through.
Once your toast is done baking, allow it to cool slightly for about 10 mins for everything to set. Then dust with powdered sugar.
Bring the dish to the table and place the pan on a hot pad (the pan will still be hot).
Let your guest scoop out their desired piece with a serving spoon, and top with their favorite toppings.