Two years ago, my family spent Christmas in Rome. Many of the local businesses were closed for a few days due to the holiday, but we had a fantastic time exploring and sightseeing. Instead of staying in a hotel, we rented an apartment and cooked many of our meals. We also enjoyed plenty of Italian food, including panettone on Christmas day. Panettone is a sweet egg bread often made with dried fruit like raisins and candied orange peels. It makes a rich, delicious French toast additionally sweetened by maple syrup or a dusting of powdered sugar.
6 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground or grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter
Topping: Maple syrup or powdered sugar
Cut off the bottom crust of the panettone in a thin slice. Save this for munching while you cook, or for toast or maybe even bread pudding later. Continue to cut ¾ to 1-inch-thick slices from the bottom up so that each slice is circular with crust around its circumference. You should end up with 8 slices, plus the bottom and top crusts.
In a mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg and combine. Heat butter in a skillet on medium-low heat. Pour the egg and milk mixture into a shallow baking dish or bowl that is large enough to fit one piece of panettone.
Dip slices of panettone into the egg and milk mixture, then flip, making sure to thoroughly coat both sides of the bread. Cook in the buttered pan for 2-3 minutes on each side. Top with powdered sugar or maple syrup and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Baked Panettone French Toast from Whole Foods