French Toast Bread Pudding
(Recipe by Aly from Cooking in Stilettos)
1 challah loaf, sliced 3/4 inch thick [I used a loaf of ciabatta]
6 large eggs
5 cups milk
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon grated orange zest [I omitted this — not a fan of citrus flavors]
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Confectioners’ sugar and pure maple syrup, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a 9 x 13 baking dish, arrange the bread in two layers, making sure that the bread fits the dish.
(Note: I also staggered the bread to allow for more coverage and less gaps when it would bake together).
Whisk together the eggs, milk, honey, orange zest, vanilla, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
Pour the mixture over the bread and press the bread down.
Allow to soak for 10-15 minutes.
Place the baking dish in a large roasting pan.
Add hot tap water to the roasting pan so that it covers and inch or so of the baking dish, taking care to NOT get water in the bread pudding mixture.
Cover the roasting pan tightly with foil, taking care to not let the foil touch the bread pudding.
Make two slashes in the foil to allow the steam to escape and bake for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, remove the aluminum foil and bake for another 45 minutes or so until the pudding is puffy and golden and the custard is set.
Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes.
To serve, lightly dust with confectioner’s sugar and drizzle with maple syrup.