Panettone Bread Pudding
December 11, 2010
I have a new obsession: panettone. I was watching the Food Network because there was nothing else on (I’d already seen every cop show that was on, and had already caught up on all my shows on On-Demand). So I happened to catch a Barefoot Contessa episode about bread. Thrilling, right? That’s what I thought, until she got to the bread pudding recipe. The panettone, the eggs, and the half-and-half had me on the edge of my seat (well, I would have been had my 2-year-old son not been sleeping on me), and I could practically smell it baking. I’ve actually never had panettone…I always just passed over it during the holiday season when it pops up at the grocery store because I assumed it was just an Italian fruit cake, which I really don’t like. Well, thanks Ina, for broadening my horizons! I seriously couldn’t stop popping pieces in my mouth while I was slicing it for the pudding. I think I’m going to buy a loaf every week! This stuff is like candy-bread! Just think of the possibilities! Panettone French toast! Panettone toast and butter! Panettone plain, with tea, for a mid-day snack! Panettone and almond butter sandwich! I’m so excited about this stuff.
This recipe is great for a crowd…luckily my babysitter has a huge family and I was able to send a bunch home with her this morning. It’s serious comfort food, and I recommend serving it after a nice, comfort-food like dinner. It would also be great served at a brunch. The almond topping makes it very elegant, and I could see it at a post-wedding weekend brunch for the family, or for a birthday brunch.
I didn’t trim the crust from the panettone because there wasn’t really any super dark parts, and she didn’t trim it on the show…she actually said you don’t need to bother with that. Also, I didn’t have extra-large eggs on hand, so I used one more whole egg and one more egg yolk, and it turned out perfectly! I was a little hesitant about the 2 teaspoons of almond extract…that’s a lot of almond…but went for it anyway, and it was just right. Tastes great served warm with vanilla ice cream!!
Panettone Bread Pudding
from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa show, Bread Winner episode 2008
1 Italian panettone, about 1.2 pounds
Unsalted butter, for greasing the dish
3 extra-large whole eggs
8 extra-large egg yolks
5 cups half-and-half
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons pure almond extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Trim the dark brown outer crust from the panettone. Cut the rest of the loaf in 1-inch cubes and place on a sheet pan in a single layer. Toast the panettone for 10 minutes, until lightly browned.
Grease a 9 by 12 by 2-inch baking dish with the butter. Place the panettone cubes in the baking dish.
In a large bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, half-and-half, vanilla and almond extracts and sugar. Pour this custard mixture over the panettone. Set aside for 10 minutes so the bread soaks up the custard. Scatter the sliced almonds over the top of the pudding.
Place the baking dish into a larger pan and add very hot tap water to the larger pan until it’s halfway up the side of the baking dish. Cover the larger pan with aluminum foil, tenting the foil so it doesn’t touch the pudding. Cut a few holes in the foil to allow steam to escape. Bake the pudding for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 40 to 45 more minutes, until the custard is set and the top of the pudding is light golden brown. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.