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Seriously Simple: Panettone French toast with eggnog custard makes for a festive holiday brunch or dessert

Diane Rossen Worthington, Tribune Content Agency on

It’s rich, it’s festive and it is perfect for holiday brunches. Whether you call this oven-baked French toast or bread pudding, the method is still the same: Dried out bread is soaked in custard and then baked.

Panettone is a tall, domed shape bread that is sweet and studded with candied fruits. This soft, sweet bread hails from Northern Italy and is prized during the Christmas holidays. When I had quite a bit leftover one holiday season, I decided to use it for a spectacular oven-baked French toast. Drying it out and using it as the base of this bread pudding is a wonderful way to experience its deliciousness. It was hit! And while this a wonderful breakfast/brunch dish, it is equally satisfying as dessert.

This French toast-pudding needs to be started a day ahead to let the bread cubes dry out. This is a wonderful Christmas morning entree, since it is all prepared the night before and just put in the oven before serving. I like to serve this with grilled sausages or crispy bacon. Include a pitcher of mixed orange and grapefruit juice with a touch of Pomegranate juice to round out the celebration breakfast. A splash of sparkling wine added to the juices elevates this menu into a celebratory occasion.

Oven-Baked Panettone French Toast with Eggnog Custard

Serves 8

1 1/2-pound box Panettone, cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes, about 8 cups


6 large eggs

1/2 cup baking sugar

4 cups eggnog

1 tablespoon vanilla


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