I also have developed the bad habit of not reading recipes thoroughly enough before going to the grocery store. Since I keep a fairly well-stocked pantry, I just assume that I have all the baking staples and don't read the ingredients very closely. It has come back to bite me a few times, this recipe included. I didn't notice the orange zest in the ingredients list, and I was also out of honey. I just omitted the zest, and I used maple syrup in lieu of the honey. I definitely think next time I'll be sure to have an orange on hand, as I think the dish would have really benefitted from the freshness.
As far as other changes go, I cut the bread into cubes versus slices so they'd fit in the ramekins. I also used low-fat milk instead of half and half, and I added a bit of cinnamon to the custard as well. I think adding a handful of raisins to the filling would be delicious too.
Joey and I both really enjoyed this breakfast. Its not often that I make decadent breakfasts, so this truly was a treat last weekend.
One Year Ago: Red Chile Chicken with Black Beans and Rice
French Toast Bread Pudding
adapted from The Barefoot Contessa, How Easy is That?
- 1/2 large challah loaf, cut into cubes
- 4 large eggs
- 2.5 cups milk
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 Tbs grated orange zest
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- confectioners' sugar and maple syrup, for serving
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Whisk in the milk, maple syrup, orange zest, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Gently fold in the challah cubes, and combine well. Divide the bread and custard among the ramekins. Allow to soak for at least 10 minutes.
Place the ramekins on a baking sheet, and cover with foil. Make slashes in the foil with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape. Bake 30 minutes, then remove the foil. Bake an additional 20-30 minutes, until the pudding puffs up and the custard is set. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve hot with maple syrup.