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TIP OF THE DAY: Pandoro Star Shaped French Toast


Turn star-shaped pandoro into holiday French
toast. Photo courtesy Giovanni Rana
Pastificio & Cucina | NYC.

  At least three famous Italian Christmas sweet breads are imported to the U.S.: panettone (a Milanese specialty), panforte (originally from Sienna) and pandoro (from Verona). Most regions have their own Christmas bread recipes.

Panettone is a yeast loaf packed with candied fruits and raisins; panforte is a short, dense loaf with spices honey; and pandoro is an eggy yeast bread made in an eight-pointed star shape, topped with icing or confectioners’ sugar.

All have become popular gift items—the equivalent of the English fruitcake.

As with any prepared food, brands range from mediocre to magnificent. Chef Francesco Berardinelli of Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina in Manhattan’s Chelsea Market prefers the Perbellini brand, which others also feel is the best brand in Italy. You can get it in the U.S. from A.G. Ferrari: sweet, light and delicate yet rich.

Here’s his recipe for Pandoro French Toast, a lovely star-shaped breakfast treat; you can also serve the French toast with fried chicken, instead of waffles; or serve it à la mode or with whipped cream for dessert.

 

RECIPE: PANDORO FRENCH TOAST

Ingredients Per Serving

  • 1 slice pandoro bread
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom honey, or to taste
  • 5 whole strawberries
  •  

    Preparation

    1. CUT a 1-inch thick slice of pandoro.

    2. MIX the eggs and cream in a bowl. Submerge both sides of the pandoro in the mix.

    3. MELT the butter in a hot sauté pan and sear the bread on both sides.

    4. GARNISH with confectioners’ sugar, orange honey and sliced strawberries.
     
    Variations

  • Substitute strawberry butter for the honey.
  • Add orange zest to the cream mix.
  • If you don’t have orange blossom honey, use the honey you do have.
  •  


    Pandoro is molded into an eight-point star and typically topped with confectioners’ sugar or icing. Photo courtesy Know.brrp.com.

    OTHER THINGS TO DO WITH PANDORO

  • Make breakfast toast, served with butter and marmalade.
  • Make baked French toast, which surrounds the pandoro with rich custard (here’s a recipe).
  • Slice it and layer with custard, fruit curd or icing into a stacked “Christmas tree.”
  • Eat for dessert with a glass of sweet wine; crème fraîche, mascarpone or whipped cream optional.
  • Make bread pudding or trifle.
  •  
    Other ideas? Let us know.

      




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