Eric and I had a wonderful and lazy weekend lounging around the house. We woke up to thunderstorms and lots of rain. The rain didn't last all day, but we had no desire to get out of the house for our morning breakfast and we proceeded to spend a good chunk of the morning watching a movie, The Golden Compass. I had never seen it before and Eric had loved this movie. Luckily I had prepared breakfast the night before and I set it to bake as we watched our Saturday morning movie. I love no fuss breakfasts in the morning because you have more time to snuggle!
This would be a perfect breakfast to prepare for the day after Thanksgiving if you have a couple house guests staying over. Pop it the oven while everyone is still soundly sleeping and trust me they will slowly wake up to the sweet smells of french toast baking and they will think you are one amazing cook. This is one of the first recipes that I came across as I waited to meet Ina Garten at her book signing. Her main focus of her latest cookbook is to save you time and stress - we all love stress-free meals right? This is absolutely the best and sweet way to start your day, and make sure to fry up some bacon to complete your breakfast meal. Enjoy!
French Toast Bread Pudding
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?
1 challah loaf, sliced 3/4 inc thick (let it sit out overnight to dry)
8 large eggs
5 cups of milk
3 tablespoons of honey
1 tablespoon of orange zest
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Confectioners' sugar and maple syrup, for serving
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a 9x13 baking dish, arrange the bread in two layers. Cut pieces to make them fit if needed. Set aside.
Set a teapot of water to boil and set a large roasting pan on the middle rack of your oven.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, honey, orange zest, vanilla paste and salt. Carefully pour the mixture over the bread and press down. Let it soak for 10 minutes.
Cover the bread pudding with aluminum foil, tenting it so the does not touch the pudding. Carefully score the aluminum foil with two slashes to allow steam to escape.
Place the bread pudding in the roasting pan, and add enough water in the roasting pan to be at least an inch up the side of the baking pan.
Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the aluminum foil, and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes until the pudding puffs and custard is set. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
Serve with a light dusting of confectioner's sugar and maple syrup.
Review: This was absolutely delicious, and if you want some extra texture to the bread pudding - add some dried cranberries or raisins or pecans to the bread pudding. This is the best thing to serve for breakfast, brunch and serves plenty. It's like enjoying a gourmet comfort food breakfast with half the hassle.