Disclosure: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received Bauducco Panettone in the Original and Hershey’s chocolate chip flavors but was not compensated for this review. As always, all opinions are mine.
Panettone reminds me of my mom. Every holiday season, she would buy a loaf of panettone and it would be her breakfast, sliced into wedges and toasted with butter. Panettone intrigued me because it seemed to be filled with the same dried fruits in the notorious fruitcakes no one wanted to eat (incidentally, my grandma used to make a really tasty fruitcake) and because the loaf was shaped like a cylinder. Do you slice it into wedges or rounds?
I sent two loaves of Bauducco Panettone: because I’ve only been familiar with the dried fruit versions of panettone, I immediately wanted to try the chocolate chip version. I sliced a wedge (out of habit, maybe?) and tore off a piece. Maybe the chocolate chips had me thinking that the bread would be sweeter, but it’s not very sweet at all. It’s also very light and fluffy; if you slice this too thinly, it’ll just fall apart on you. I ate one wedge toasted, with butter, but the not-sweet part just threw me off. So, I turned it into French toast.
I have no recipe for French toast. I only make it for the two of us, which requires four slices of whatever bread I’m using. I’ll use three eggs and enough milk to make the mixture liquidy, add a dash of vanilla or cinnamon or sugar, and beat it all with a whisk. It’s one of those things I find hard to mess up. More or less milk won’t really ruin things, but I do err on the “more” side. Any leftover egg mixture gets fried up and someone eats it (us, a dog, a chicken..)
French toast appeared to be the best use of the chocolate chip panettone. The airy quality of the bread soaks up the egg mixture perfectly, creating a soft custardy interior while the outside edges crisp up to perfection. A drizzle of maple syrup or dusting of powdered sugar gives the whole thing the sweetness that I found lacking. There aren’t any pictures because French toast on a plate is not photogenic. Also, we gobbled it up really quickly.
When it came time to use the dried fruit panettone, I wanted to do something different with the bread. The dried fruit version has a hint of orange to it, but I still wanted to make something savory with the bread. I ended up doing two things with the loaf. With part of it, I sliced it into rounds (thick slices, so it wouldn’t fall apart) and made a grilled cheese sandwich with gorgonzola and olive jam. The blue cheese is sharp and pungent, so it cuts through the sweetness of the bread and the jam. But, the olive jam has a bit of saltiness, so it balances all the flavors out quite nicely. I was actually a little impressed with myself.
And, with the rest of the loaf, I used it in place of regular bread to make Everyday Food’s Turkey Stuffing Bake. Because the bread is sweetened, the overall dish is sweeter than the recipe originally intended. But, with the cranberries and ground turkey, I thought it made for a good bite.
I am not intimately familiar with all the different brands of panettone available to us masses, but I was very pleased with the Bauducco Panettone. The loaves were soft and tender and the flavors were subtle without being overwhelming.