I love French toast and I love pandoro so what could be better than pandoro French toast? I’ll tell you what…nothing!
I reserve making French toast for the weekends when I have time to cook and enjoy a leisurely breakfast/brunch. I normally make it using brioche but seeing as its Christmas, I decided to try it with pandoro recently.
If you’re not familiar with it, pandoro is a traditional Italian Christmas sweet bread, and one of my favourite parts of the Christmas festivities. The name pandoro means ‘golden bread’, which perfectly describes its colour, which is provided by the eggs in its batter. It is beautifully light in texture and so deliciously sweet and buttery in taste.
The other day I really fancied some French toast but didn’t have any brioche in the house. Looking around for an alternative, I noticed a mini pandoro that I’d actually bought someone as a gift, so decided to try it out (don’t worry, I bought them another one!). I also had a few slices of smoked pancetta in the fridge…perfect!
Ingredients (this is for 1 portion. Obviously multiply it by how many people you’re making it for)
Pandoro (You can find large and mini ones in all Italian delis and most supermarkets)
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (you can also use vanilla extract – not essence!)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3 rashers of smoked pancetta (smoked streaky bacon is also fine)
butter for frying
There are large and mini pandoros, it really depends what you get your hands on. In the pictures below, I’ve used a mini one. But if you are catering for more than just yourself, get a larger one. Due to the shape of the tin it’s baked in, it creates a beautiful star shape when you cut across it.
I whisked up the eggs with the vanilla and cinnamon…
Then laid the slices of pandoro in the egg mixture, turning them over so they were soaked in it.
Meanwhile, I heated up some butter in a frying pan and laid a few rashers of the pancetta on the grill. After a few minutes, most of the egg mixture had been soaked up by the pandoro so I placed the pancetta under the grill and transferred the eggy pandoro to the hot frying pan.
I turned the heat down on the pan as its easy to burn the outside of French toast and still have it pretty raw inside, so I kept it at a medium heat, keeping an eye on the pancetta.
Once the eggy pandoro was golden brown on the outside but still feeling soft in the middle, and the pancetta was crispy, I plated it up. Then drizzled with some maple syrup.
Oh. My. God. It was so bleedin tasty! Sinking my teeth into the crunchy outside, I got the soft, sweet, buttery, eggy goodness in the middle, then the hit of the crispy smoked pancetta which cut through the richness….it was absolutely glorious. I really hope you like it. Of course, if you can’t get your hands on a pandoro, you can use brioche instead, its equally as good, even if not quite as festive!