Sunday, January 4

Don't Want the Holidays to End? Make Panettone French Toast

Italian pannetone French toast

Back in Rhode Island, there was never much to look forward to after Christmas. The holiday decorations came down, it was depressingly dark by 4:30 pm, and that once-fluffy-perfect-for-sledding-snow had turned into treacherous black ice. But there was always panettone.

Panettone is an Italian sweetbread made with candied orange, zest, citron, and raisins that is closely associated with Christmas and New Year's Day. Growing up in Rhode Island, my family received a lot of panettone for Christmas because it was a go-to gift among Italians. Need a gift for your lawyer? A loaf of panettone is perfect. Invited to someone's house for coffee around the holidays? Bring panettone. Have an exceptionally good mailman? Give him a loaf of panettone, plus a shot of anisette when no one's looking. That always warms him up a bone-chillingly cold route.

Though panettone is delicious unadorned, I always preferred it toasted with a dab of butter or some orange marmalade. However, my favorite way to eat it was my mom's panettone French toast. She would cut super thick slices (because, really, where's the fun in thin French toast?), dip them in a mixture of egg, milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and orange zest, then cook them until golden brown and plump. All they needed after that was a drizzle of pure maple syrup and a dusting of confectioners' sugar. And that is exactly what I'm sharing with you today.

Italian pannetone

If you didn't receive any panettone this holiday season, then go to your nearest Italian specialty market or deli and buy a loaf. Chances are they'll still have leftovers from Christmas, so you may even get one on sale. I received mine thanks to the generosity of Maryann and Joe, when I participated in their Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes in December.

Since I won't be getting fresh falling snow any time soon here in San Diego, I may have to walk over to Little Italy for another loaf of panettone. After all, winter still has a way to go.

Panettone French Toast
Makes 6 large or 12 small servings
Print recipe only here.

1 loaf Italian panettone bread, cut into 6 thick slices
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk (whole or low-fat)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
zest of 1 large orange
butter, for the griddle
maple syrup
confectioners' sugar

In a shallow bowl or pie plate, lightly whisk eggs; add milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and orange zest and whisk until well combined.

Place griddle over medium-high heat. Melt a little butter on the griddle until just coated.

Dip one slice of bread in the egg mixture, allowing the excess to drip into the bowl, then place on the hot buttered griddle. Cook for 1 minute per side, or until golden brown and the egg has set. Place on a warm plate and cover until ready to serve. Repeat with remaining slices, buttering the griddle as necessary. Cut each slice into 2 triangles. Place 12 triangles of French toast on a serving platter. Drizzle with maple syrup and dust with confectioners' sugar. Serve hot.

You might also like these breakfast and brunch dishes:

Chestnut Pancakes with Pancetta, Creme Fraiche, and Cinnamon Maple Syrup

Breakfast Quinoa with Dried Cherries, Raisins, and Pecans

Heuvos Rancheros with Salsa Verde

Savory Sausage and Fennel Galette

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Karen said...

This sounds delicious. I usually buy a pannetone at Christmastime, but didn't this year because I was traveling. I like it toasted, too with butter, and I always make bread pudding with my leftovers! PS: I bet you had a very happy mailman ;)

Chris said...

It does make a fabulous french toast! I just made Bread Pudding with mine, but haven't posted about it yet...later this week. Happy New Year! :)

Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said...

I think this is a wonderful way to enjoy leftover pannetone Susan...I love the flavour of vanilla, cinnamon and orange!

Chris said...

I can't believe I forgot about pannetone! Since I'm in Asia, I am constantly reminded of unfamiliar ingredients like kaya (, a delicious coconut jam that I think would compliment pannetone really well. If you can get your hands on some, go for it! And Happy New Year :)

Heather said...

i always look forward to the week when the italian deli near me rolls out the pannetone... it always means christmas to me. this sounds tasty!!

Stacey Snacks said...

Proud Italian Cook, Taste w/ the Eyes and I made the same thing on Christmas morning!
Great minds think alike.
I still have a piece of pannetone leftover! maybe I will sneak it in one more time!
Happy New Year.
Stacey Snacks

Kara said...

You may have sealed the deal... I thought having friends over for brunch would cure my post-Christmas blues and this looks like the perfect thing to serve! Yum!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That looks mighty scrumptious! You can't beat Panettone French Toast!

Cheers and have a great week,


Scribbit said...

Andrew saw the picture and said, "We need to go visit them":)

Meeta K. Wolff said...

sounds absolutely decadent. i have made french toast using raisin bread but this is putting it up a notch! lovely!

Manggy said...

Oh, doesn't that look yummy?! Pass the butter and marmalade please! I'm thinking of other special breads to french-toast now, heh heh :)

Lore said...

You're right, there's no fun in thin French toast. Love Pannetone on its own but turned into French toast is simply irresistible!

David Hall said...

Happy new year Susan!

Well, what a great way to start 2009! If only I could get it delivered to me whilst snoozing. Wishful thinking!

All the best

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I always see all the beautifully wrapped pannetones in our local Italian grocers in all different price ranges.I think it an ingenius idea to make it into delectable French toast!!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful for french toast...with a berry sauce, dollop of ice cream - yum!

Snooky doodle said...

this looks delicious. i love panettone although strangely enoughthis year I didn t receive any. I always do. Never used it for french toast though. sounds interesting :)

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year, Susan! I've always wondered about pannetone, but after your description, I know I need to try it. It sounds so delicious! I'm curious this something easy enough to make from scratch, or is it easier to buy it already made?

Rita said...

I LOVE panettone. I have a favourite Brazilian brand that is the best of all, I even "import it" when I cannot find it here in Seattle. However, I made a dessert with them and brought to a Xmas dinner and was surprised to find out that no one knew what a panettone was.

Ivy said...

French toast sounds a great idea for leftovers, but there is none left in my family.

Cakespy said...

It's perfect because at my local grocer the pannetone is on sale--I know what I'm doing for brunch! :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh...susan..I am feeling quite depressed after the Holidays...but this surely will brighten up my day.

Lori Lynn said...

Hi Susan - we are all on the same page with this one - you, Marie, Stacey, and myself...I bet there are more out there too. It's definitely a winner!
Happy New Year!

Dewi said...

I am liking the idea Susan! I just know it, must taste really great.

Anonymous said...

Very nice. And, I didn't get any this year!

Anonymous said...

Here in the home territories (Rhode Island!) pannetone is still everywhere, even at our brand new Trader Joe's, which today was selling it for $5.99. I think your recipe would make a great dessert, yes?

Anonymous said...

Everyone loves this! Glad you received your package, Susan :)
Happy 2009!

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

I have been away from bloghopping abit, so let me wish you a wonderful New Year, Susan.

This French toast sounds delicious. I have to try making Pannetone first thoough. :)

Unknown said...

Looks delicious, what a creative use of leftover Pannetone ! bet it tasted awesome :-)

Dragon said...

This sounds like a heavenly breakfast. I can't wait to try it.

Maris said...

Very clever! I'm trying hard to use more leftovers and let less food go to waste but it's certainly not easy!

The Italian Dish said...

What a way to use Pannetone! Looks absolutely delicious - I think my guys would love this.

RecipeGirl said...

Great idea to use pannetone for scrumptious French Toast. I have that same cute fork :)

pigpigscorner said...

It sure is delicious with pannetone! Yum yum...

Anonymous said...

I wish I was your letter carrier! lol

Jeanne said...

I'm glad a REAL Italian also prefers a little dab of butter on her pannetone - I thought I was preachign heresy ;-) And I *love* the idea of making French toast with it! The loaves are always so big that you are bound to have leftovers. Thanks for the inspiration and I hope you had a fantastic festive season!

Anonymous said...

Yum! I tried a pannetone bread pudding last year but this looks better! Hope your 2009 is off to a great start Susan! Joe

Nithya Praveen said...

I've never head of Pannetone....Looks yummy Susan.Happy 2009.Looking forward to more recipes!

Anonymous said...

Now that's a great idea! It's clear that cooking genius runs in your family. Happy New Year, Susan!

Anonymous said...

I'm more than a little bit angry that after entering your contest on 'eat-more-burgers' for free beef, that I have been INUNDATED with foreign spam email.

I get 5-6 emails each day from various foreign countries congratulating me on my lottery win & wanting my financial info so they can transfer my winnings. Since I haven't given out my email address for anything else over the last year, I must conclude that you are selling or providing access to our info.

Has anyone else reported a similar problem?


Nic said...

Oh man that looks soooo good!
This is the first year in a long time that I didn't buy or get a pannetone. We usually eat it on New Year's Day, and my son was asking where that fabulous bread was hiding!!
Happy New Year Susan!

Anonymous said...

Makes me wish I had bought some panettone this year! On a similar vein we've also make bread and butter pudding with it in the past which was really good (and a bit lighter than normal).

Susan from Food Blogga said...

karen-I am definitely trying bread pudding next year.

chris-Yum! I'd love to try it.

peter-The orange really pops.

chris-Coconut jam? OMG, I would love that! Happy travels!

heather-I know. They beat the heck out of candy canes!

stacey-I loved everyone's recipes! I am definitely in good company. :)

kara-Hope you try it! They'll love it!

rosa-You really can't. :)

andrew-I just got a new comfy sofa bed too! ;)

meeta-It definitely elevates it to something special.

mark-Well, you can never have too much French toast.

lore-The thicker the slices, the better.

david-Yes, that would be heavenly, indeed.

val-Go and buy one before they're gone!

ronell-I love French toast with berry sauce too.

snooky-Maybe Santa forgot? ;)

leena-Go try it. Right now! I think it's easier to buy.

rita-Just think, now you've introduced a whole new group of people to it. Long live pannetone! :)

ivy-I can understand that. :)

cakespy-Even better!

veron-It will, trust me!

lorilynn-I know. I'm clearly in good company. :)

elra-It really is wonderful.

mary-Better get to an Italian deli soon then!

lydia-Even TJ's? Wow! Yes, it would make a lovely dessert. You could add a dollop of whipped cream.

maryann-I'm loving it! :)

aparna-Happy New Year! Thanks~!

usha-It was awesome. :)

dragon-It's really one of my favorites.

maris-This one is easy!

elaine-I'm sure they would!

lori-I love that silverware. :)

pigpigs-Yum, indeed!

cheesy- I know. :)

jeanne-Everything's better with butter, right? :)

joe-The French toast is making 2009 great! :)

nithya-Make it a 2009 resolution to try some then! :)

julie-That's sweet. Thanks! And Happy New Year to you too!

val-Of course, I am not selling your info to anymore. It is common knowledge that spammers search the web for email addresses. If you'll notice, most people spell out their email addresses. For ex. FoodBlogga [at] yahoo [dot] com. I am happy to delete your comment from the post. Just email me to indicate which one is yours, and I'll still keep you in the pool for the drawing.

nic-Smart kid! :) Happy New Year, Nic!

sophie-That is wonderful too. So homey and comforting.

Anonymous said...

Any idea how much longer Pannetone will be around? I saw it in the store the other day and keep debating whether or not to get some.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

hillary-Many stores carry it for months; some even carry them year-round. So it really varies. To be on the safe side, I'd get it by January.

Elle said...

That looks so delish.

Anonymous said...

i love your blog! but italian panettone is spelled as paNeTTone...

Susan from Food Blogga said...


anonymous-You're right. Thanks. So much for my straight A's in elementary school spelling. ;)

Susanne Knothe said...

I had a lovely Pannetone Toast this morning. Nothing else - as simple as that.
I loved it.
Some mornings are better than others and this one definitely was.

Keep cooking!

Pam Murphy said...

ooh, panettone and french toast..nice concept!