This recipe comes from Ina Garten’s new cookbook “How Easy is That?”. My family loves breakfast and I love French Toast casseroles. It’s a nice break to not have to stand at the oven dipping the bread in the egg mixture, putting them in the pan, flipping and repeating. So when I saw this recipe in the book and on the Barefoot Bloggers website, I knew it was something I had to make.
I loved how it turned out. My kids on the other hand did not. They didn’t like the custardy (is that a word?) texture. But the adults really enjoyed it. The only thing that I felt it needed was a bit more bread. My 1 loaf of challah didn’t seem to be enough. Next time I might get 2 loaves and cram every part of the casserole dish with bread. The addition of the orange zest was really nice and I will be adding that to my regular French Toast recipe.
French Toast Bread Pudding:
- 1 challah loaf, sliced 3/4 inch thick
- 8 extra-large eggs (I used large with no issues)
- 5 cups half-and-half or milk
- 3 tbs honey
- 1 tbs grated orange zest
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- Confectioners’ sugar and pure maple syrup, for serving
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Arrange the bread in two layers in a 9 x 13 x 2 inch baking dish, cutting the bread to fit the dish. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, honey, orange zest, vanilla, and salt. Pour the mixture over the bread and press the bread down. Allow to soak for 10 minutes.
- Place the baking dish in a larger roasting pan and add enough very hot tap water to the roasting pan to come an inch up the side of the baking dish. Cover the roasting pan tightly with aluminum foil, tenting it so the foil doesn’t touch the pudding. Make two slashes in the foil to allow steam to escape. Bake for 45 minutes, remove the aluminum foil, and bake for another 45 minutes, until the pudding puffs up and the custard is set. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
- With a small sieve, dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar and serve hot in squares with maple syrup on the side.
Source: How Easy is That? by Ina Garten