I love recipes that I can prepare ahead and then serve a group; and this is one of those dishes. We had it over the Easter holiday and it was delicious – bread pudding for breakfast! What could be better? The recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? by Ina Garten. I baked it ahead and then just reheated in the microwave before serving for breakfast. And since it’s served with maple syrup, we added maple bacon for a really great start to the day.
1 challah loaf (egg bread), sliced 3/4″ thick (I couldn’t find challah, so I used egg rolls instead)
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° F degrees. Arrange the sliced bread in two layers in a 9″ x 13″ x 2″ baking dish, cutting the bread to fit the dish.
In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, half-and-half, honey, orange zest, vanilla, and salt. Pour the mixture over the bread and allow to soak for 10 minutes.
Place the baking dish in a larger roasting pan and add enough hot tap water to come an inch up the side of the baking dish. Cover the roasting pan tightly with aluminum foil, making sure the aluminum foil doesn’t touch the pudding. Make two slits in the aluminum foil to allow steam to escape, and bake for 45 minutes. Then, remove the aluminum foil and bake for another 40 – 45 minutes, or until the pudding puffs up and the custard is set. Watch to make sure the pudding is not getting too brown, if so cover loosely with aluminum foil for the remaining baking time.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Then, with a small sieve lightly dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve hot with maple syrup on the side. Serves 8.