What a way to kick off Ina's new book, "How Easy is That?"....French Toast Bread Pudding. The Barefoot Blogger's group has been a little loosey goosey lately so I'm thrilled that we're back in the swing and will be blogging exclusively through the new book for a while.
In the introduction to this recipe, Ina says she was making french toast one day and decided to throw everything into one dish and for an easy bread pudding. That's essentially the theme of this new book......easy adaptations of delicious classic recipes. And as with all Ina recipes, this is full of flavor.
I actually assembled mine the night before and refrigerated it overnight. I wanted to serve it to hubs for breakfast to try to trick him into liking this! He's NOT a fan of bread pudding, so I called it baked french toast. Shhh. He loved it! A little maple syrup on top makes this a perfect breakfast or brunch dish but I'll bet I can talk him into having it for dessert the rest of the week!
French Toast Bread Pudding
Barefoot Contessa "How Easy is That?"
1 challah loaf, sliced 3/4 inch thick (If the challah is fresh, not stale, slice and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees)
8 extra large eggs
5 cups half-and-half or milk
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Confectioners' sugar and pure maple syrup, for serving
Preheat the 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 40 to 45 minutes, until the pudding puffs up and the custard is set. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
With a small sieve, dust lihtly with confectioners' sugar and serve hot in squares with maple syrup on the side.
And make sure you pick up a copy of "How Easy is That?"