deck the halls with bells of holly, falalalala lalalala! my favourite christmas playlists are on repeat and i’m in full scheming mode over here. i love menu planning, especially for the holidays. i already have my menu thought out, my grocery list written organized by store and location in the store, and all my resources and recipes that i’ll reference organized by course at the bottom of the page. i’m well aware that i’m crazy, don’t worry. i just love any excuse for a big, delicious meal and the opportunity to cook for my family!
i always love to plan a healthy mix of tried and true recipes (like my bomb-dot-com maple roasted carrots and parsnips), things i want to experiment with (like spatchcocking a turkey this year – will keep you guys posted on those results), and new favourites like this panettone flavoured bread pudding.
i hadn’t eaten bread pudding before i made this recipe, but when boulart bread asked me to create something fun with my favourite thing on the planet, i thought that it was the perfect opportunity. it turns out, i’m obsessed with it now, and can’t wait to make it for my fam when i’m home in a few weeks. it’s the perfect holiday recipe because it can be made in advance, it feels fancy and festive enough for the holidays, and is definitely decadent enough for them too. panettone is a traditional italian bread eaten every holiday and is flavoured with candied citron, raisins and sometimes dark rum or something similar (we italians love adding booze to desserts).
the recipe itself is super simple – an easy custard is made in advance and poured over torn and toasted Boulart ciabatta original-demi baguette – which is amazingly free from preservatives and additives. i didn’t add a ton of sugar to this recipe, so that i could top it with some amaretto caramel sauce – i love how the almond flavour of the amaretto compliments the candied citron in the perfect way.
i love the idea of making this for a sweet christmas brunch option, not only because it’s filling enough to keep you satisfied until dinner, but also because you can put everything together the night before and let sit in the fridge over night – it’s actually better if the bread has ample time to soak up that delicious, vanilla custard, and it leaves more time for opening gifts and spending time together.
bread pudding with panettone flavours
3 Boulart bread original ciabatta demi-baguette, cut into 1 inch pieces (about 8 cups)
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1.5 cups heavy cream
1.5 cups almond milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3-inch strip orange zest
1 stick unsalted butter, melted, divided, plus more for pan
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 cup raisins
1 cup mixed candied citron, orange and lemon
1.5 cup disarono amaretto
preheat oven to 300°. spread bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, tossing halfway through, until dried and toasty. (dry bread will absorb the custard without disintegrating, which is why this step is important.) let cool, then transfer to a large bowl.
pour raisins and amaretto into a small bowl to soak, tossing occasionally.
meanwhile, heat cinnamon, vanilla bean, cream, milk, granulated sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high. as soon as mixture starts to boil (watch closely or milk will boil over top of pot!), remove from heat. whisk in orange zest and 2 tablespoon butter and let steep 30 minutes. pluck out and discard cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, and orange zest.
brush a 1.5–2-qt. baking dish with butter. pour milk mixture into a blender. add egg and egg yolks and blend, starting on low and increasing speed to high, until mixture is light and foamy, 20–30 seconds. pour over reserved bread and toss to coat. scrape 1/3 of bread mixture into prepared pan, sprinkle with candied citron and amaretto soaked raisins. add more bread mixture over top and repeat layering until all ingredients are used. cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill at least 3 hours and up to 12.
arrange a rack in center of oven; preheat to 300°. spoon remaining butter over the top. bake until lightly golden, puffed, pulling away from edges of pan, about 30–40 minutes. let cool 1 hour before serving.
while bread pudding is cooling, make amaretto caramel sauce: heat 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, 1/2 heavy cream, 2 tablespoons butter, splash of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan over medium high heat. bring to a bowl, and then reduce heat to medium and let simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. remove from heat and stir in about 1 tablespoon amaretto. let cool slightly before using.
to serve, spoon warm bread pudding into shallow bowl, and drizzle caramel sauce over. enjoy!