What better way to use leftover panettone than to make a bread pudding, right? This is a simple recipe, with few everyday ingredients, and very customizable flavor-wise. Take advantage of holiday bread and make this wonderful vintage dessert that can be frozen!
Bread pudding is a fantastic dessert to make with leftover bread. With any bread really, but I think that post-holiday panettone pudding is still the best of them all! Especially if the original Italian bread is a good one.
Why this recipe works:
- Very easy to make. As with most bread puddings, it takes very few ingredients to make it.
- Use of leftovers. Here we gift a lot of panettone so what to do with the leftovers is always needed. Right now I have two at home, and someone always brings another for Christmas eve, so yes, this recipe is the way to go because, once opened, it dries out pretty quickly.
- Few ingredients. Flavorings and customizations aside, it only takes milk, eggs and sugar to make a panettone bread pudding. The bread itself is sweet and has add-ins, so there's flavor in there already.
- Freezing. The baked dessert can be frozen so there's really no excuse.
As I mentioned above, very few, simple ingredients are needed.
- Panettone: it's the main ingredient, and how good it is will directly affect the texture and flavor of this bread pudding.
- Sugar: use white or brown, they both work well.
- Milk: whole is the best because it adds richness, but if you only have low-fat use it with a few tablespoons of cream.
- Flavorings: I like to add lemon zest and vanilla. Orange zest works very well, and even a tiny bit more of orange blossom water which is one of the original flavors in this holiday bread. This is where you can customize it to your taste.
I love how simple making this dessert is. A buttered dish, slices of bread, an easy-to-make binding cream and not much more.
How to cut the panettone?
This seems to be the most asked question. My short answer is however you like it.
- Thick slices: this will make the pudding uneven and you will have different textures throughout the dessert. I like it better.
- Cubes: cutting the bread into small cubes will result in a dessert that is dense but has little texture, which is more even because the smaller pieces get soaked faster and more evenly. You'll still have the add-ins from the original bread though.
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How to serve it
- Warm plain, or with whipped cream is my favorite way.
- Drizzle some caramel sauce or homemade dulce de leche to the above.
- Serve warm with a pool of creme Anglaise, a little more laborious but worth it.
Frequently asked questions
It's not too sweet, with a hint of orange blossom (a very unique almondy flavor) and vanilla. The traditional recipe has candied fruit, nuts, and sometimes raisins. Nowadays, they can be made with various add-ins, including chocolate chunks.
You can insert a tester and it should come out clean. But the pudding should be shiny and not completely firm. This will ensure that it's still creamy and not dry.
In theory, you can eat it however you want. I think the best way is warm with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or caramel sauce.
Related recipes you might like:
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What better way to use leftover panettone than to make a bread pudding, right? This is a simple recipe, with few everyday ingredients, and very customizable flavor-wise. Take advantage of holiday leftovers and make this wonderful vintage recipe that can be frozen!
- 1 teaspoon of butter, for the dish
- 13oz panettone, cut into thick slices or chunks
- 2 cups whole milk, at room temperature
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
- Lemon zest from half a medium lemon
- 1 tablespoon sugar with ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, for topping
- Whipped cream, to server, optional
- Butter a ceramic dish (I use an 8x11-inch oval one, but any shape is good).
- Arrange the panettone slices or chunks, fitting them snugly.
- Mix together milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest in a bowl. You don't need to beat it as we don't want to incorporate air, but make sure the eggs are well incorporated. Alternatively, mix the eggs first separately and add to the milk and other ingredients.
- Pour this mixture carefully over the panettone, making sure all is moistened. Since the bread is usually uneven, some slices might be more covered than others, that is fine.
- Let this mixture stand at room temperature to allow the bread to absorb the liquid. If the panettone was still moist 20-30 minutes is fine. If it was dry, you might want to leave it for 45 minutes. At this point, you can also cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C.
- Check the mixture once or twice, submerging again any bread slices that popped to the surface too much. Or turn them over if they're on the surface and one of the sides is not being soaked enough.
- Bake for 20 minutes, decrease the temperature to 325°F/160°C and bake for another 20-25 minutes, until the top is puffed and golden brown. A tester inserted should come out clean. Don't be tempted to leave it until it's very firm because we want it to be creamy.
- Let cool a little and serve warm with whipped cream if you want.
- Store leftovers covered, in the refrigerator.
it's the main ingredient, and how good it is will directly affect the texture and flavor of this bread pudding.
How to cut the panettone? This seems to be the most asked question. My short answer is however you like it. And the long one is that it really doesn't matter much because it will be soaked with the liquid and will bake rather evenly. Unless you like to eat bread pudding that is dense but has little texture. In that case, cube the panettone which will ensure that it's soaked faster and more evenly. You'll still have the add-ins from the original bread though.
Sugar: use white or brown, they both work well.
Milk: whole is the best because it adds richness, but if you only have low-fat use it with a few tablespoons of cream.
Flavorings: I like to add lemon zest and vanilla. Orange zest works very well, and even a tiny bit more of orange blossom water which is one of the original flavors in this holiday bread. This is where you can customize it to your taste.
Keywords: panettone bread pudding