This french toast bake uses Panettone. Panettone is an Italian sweet bread that originated in Milan. It was prepared to enjoy for Christmas and New Years. This bread contains candied orange, citron, lemon zest, and raisins. You can also find it made with chocolate or plain.
In this recipe, I use a Panettone made with candied orange peels and raisins. I bought my Panettone at Cost Plus World Market.
I slice the Panettone vertically into 8 slices. I then spread 4 of the slices with mascarpone cheese. I take the remaining 4 slices and place them on top of the cheese. You make sandwiches. I then cut the sandwiches into 1 inch squares. Put the bread in a buttered baking dish and pour the egg mixture over the bread. Press down on the bread with a spatula to soak up the custard. Cover and refrigerate. Pull out of the fridge the next morning and bake. It's that simple.
Christmas French Toast Bake
Butter for greasing the baking dish
1 (1.6 pound – 750 grams) panettone loaf bread
1 (8 ounce) container mascarpone cheese
2 cups half and half
1/3-cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup orange juice
1-teaspoon vanilla extract
1-teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Powdered sugar for dusting
1. Butter a 9x13 inch-baking dish.
2. Remove the paper from the panettone . Cut the ends off the bread (you can discard them or use them in the bake). Slice the loaf vertically into 8 slices (about ½ inch thick).
3. Spread 3 tablespoons of mascarpone cheese on 4 slices of the panettone.
4. Place the remaining 4 slices of panettone on top of the cheese. You are making four sandwiches.
5. Cut each sandwich into 1-inch squares and place the squares in the prepared baking dish.
Note: If you wish, you can cut the end pieces into 1 inch squares and toss them in the pan.
6. Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add the half and half, maple syrup, orange juice, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk together until well combined.
7. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread. Press the bread down gently with a spatula into the egg mixture.
8. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours.
9. Remove from fridge when you are ready to bake it. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
10. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 25-30 minutes or until the bake is puffed.
11. Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes.
12 Transfer french toast to plates and lightly dust with powdered sugar and drizzle with maple syrup.
|Cut Into Squares|
|In The Dish Waiting For The Egg Mixture|
|Pressing The Bread Into The Egg Mixture|
|Ready For Oven|