Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

When Christmas just won’t leave: Pannetone eggy bread or french toast

on January 23, 2011

In my family, it has always been eggy bread. It’s something of a tradition. Every now and then, my dad, who usually can’t cook for toffee, would make us eggy bread for breakfast. And it was always something of an occasion and a treat. He didn’t do it with pannetone, I’m not sure my parents know what pannetone is! He just made it with your bog standard white bread that was probably a bit stale and about to go mouldy! And you can still make eggy bread like that.

But this is with a pannetone, simply because we still have some hanging around after Christmas. And I couldn’t be bothered with the palaver of a fry up or hash browns and so on, so I decided to do eggy bread.

The first time I came across french toast was in Nepal. We were on a girl guide’s weekend camping trip somewhere in the hills outside Kathmandu (yes, I grew up in Nepal, for those of you who think that’s an odd sentence!) and we had breakfast at a local lodge, which was french toast. Turned out it had weevils added to it – don’t think they’re normally in French toast – but hey, it was extra protein. Be reassured though, I do not, ever put weevils, or any other small bugs, in my eggy bread.

I don’t think eggy bread is French. I think it’s probably an American term, much like French fries are. Maybe they think it sounds more exotic if they call it ‘French’! As everyone knows the French don’t really eat breakfast. They just have a shot of coffee and maybe a nibble of a croissant. Anyway, being English, I don’t consider France that exotic so we’ll carry on with eggy bread.

I had a look for some recipes online (not because I don’t know how to make it, I was just wondering if there were some interesting ways of doing it out there). Most consisted of ones made from about 8 eggs and lashings of cream or just plain ones. Now, I know that its a pannetone, but really, its Janaury, there is no need for so many eggs and cream. And I can manage a recipe that’s bog standard without anything added. In the end, I found this one and it was just perfect.

Despite having just said it was perfect, it’s not really. It’s just more what I was looking for. I decided Cointreau for brunch in January was a bit much! And I also thought they over did it a bit on the amount of liquid to bread and the amount of sugar – so I reduced both.

Pannetone eggy bread

Serves 2

  • 200-250g pannetone (of any kind), sliced lengthways and then cut in half.
  • 1 large egg
  • 70ml milk
  • 30ml orange juice
  • zest of half a lemon or orange (I used lemon as I didn’t have an orange)
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (or about 2 tsp ground nutmeg)
  • 50g (ish) butter or margerine
  1. Combine all the ingredients, apart from the pannetone in a large-ish flat-ish dish. Whisk well to mix.
  2. Heat a blob of the butter in a frying pan on a medium heat (you don’t want it too hot or the eggy bread will burn) and when it’s melted and bubbling very quickly dip a slice of the pannetone in the mixture on each side so it’s coated and drop in the pan – don’t leave it too long otherwise the pannetone will just fall apart.
  3. Repeat until the pan is nicely full, but not over crowded.
  4. Cook on both sides until golden brown. Remove from the pan and place on some kitchen towel.
  5. Add more butter and cook the remaining pieces until all the pannetone and mixture are used up.
  6. Serve with honey, maple syrup, marmalade, jam – or just on it’s own. My favourite was plain and marmalade.
  7. Enjoy with a steaming mug of freshly brewed tea and the paper.

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