French Toast Bread Pudding with a cup of hot coffee is one of my favorite ways to begin our Sunday mornings here at 1840 Farm. It’s tough to beat a dish that tastes this delicious and can be put together the night before. Humble day old bread never had it so good.
This recipe combines the flavor of French Toast with the texture and ease of bread pudding. Every cube of bread soaks up the eggy custard, puffing up as it bakes, creating both soft and crunchy textures. This dish has everything: beauty, flavor, texture, and the assumption that you must have spent hours in the kitchen creating such a delicious, comforting dish. Knowing that you didn’t just might make it taste even better.
This recipe is delicious and great for a crowd. Because all of the prep work is done the night before, I can spend my time enjoying the family and friends gathered for breakfast or brunch the next morning. I love knowing that something so delicious is baking in the oven while I’m enjoying the coffee and company around our farmhouse table. As the intoxicating aroma fills the farmhouse, we all become eager to dig in and taste that first delicious bite.
While the ingredients in this recipe are simple, the results are amazing. Each bite of bread is filled with the rich flavor of fresh eggs and earthiness of vanilla. As it bakes in the oven, the caramel beneath the bread cubes becomes thick and luscious. This really is a recipe where the finished dish is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. Believe me, you’ll serve this once to your family and friends and they will keep coming back for more!
- 5 large eggs
- 6 ounces half and half
- 6 ounces whole milk
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon Grand Marnier
- 1 large French baguette
- 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, cubed
- 1 cup (192 grams) brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half, milk, vanilla extract, and Grand Marnier. Using a serrated knife, cut the bread into 1 inch cubes. Add the bread cubes to the egg mixture and stir gently with a spatula to coat each cube. Allow the bread to rest in the egg mixture as the caramel is prepared.
- In a small pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar, honey, and salt. Stir over medium heat until the mixture is smooth. Remove the caramel from heat.
- Transfer the caramel to a large oven safe casserole dish (I use my lasagna pan). Spread the caramel to fully cover the bottom of the pan. Using a spatula, gently transfer the soaked bread cubes to the pan, distributing them to evenly fill the pan and cover the caramel. Cover the pan and refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the pan from the refrigerator and place on a large baking sheet. When the oven has come up to temperature, place the pan in the oven and bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes. When the bread is perfectly baked, it will be puffed and golden on the edges.
- Remove the pan from the oven, pour the coffee, and serve. I like to use a large spatula to remove a serving from the baking pan. By turning the spatula upside down to plate the bread pudding, the gooey caramel will be on top, making its way through the bread cubes to the plate below. It’s a feast for the eyes and the taste buds. Enjoy!
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