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This is a wonderful, make-ahead recipe to serve at a brunch. It really takes no time at all, but it tastes incredible! I used this for our Mother's Day Brunch this year, and it was very well received. I happened to use 1% milk (which I had on hand!) and heavy cream in place of the half and half. In order to save some time, I almost left off the praline topping, but I am so glad I took the time to make it. The nice, sweet crunch of the buttery nuts complimented the dish really well. This is great served with warm maple syrup.
- 1 loaf bread (1 lb, Challah or Portuguese Sweet Bread work well)
- 8 large eggs
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 dash salt
For Praline Topping
- 1⁄2 lb butter, softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg
- Slice the loaf of bread into 1” thick slices.
- There should be about 20 slices.
- Butter a 9x13" baking dish, and arrange the bread slices in two layers.
- I cut some of the slices into triangles to be sure they fit into all the corners.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs, half and half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until well blended, but not too frothy.
- Gently pour the mixture over the bread slices.
- Be sure all the slices are covered evenly, especially the ones on top!
- Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
- The next morning, preheat oven to 350.
- Combine ingredients for praline topping, and spread evenly over the bread mixture.
- Bake uncovered in oven for about 40 minutes, or until puffed, and lightly golden on top.
- (a few more minutes if you like it a little crispier on top!) Cut into squares and serve with warm maple syrup.
My family really liked this. It reminded us of bread pudding. I used Italian bread, because it's all I had, and decreased the butter by 25%. Also, I made just a half recipe, and baked it in an 8 inch square pan. As others have noted, this casserole is so good, it doesn't need any syrup.
This was so delicious and took no time at all! I made it for my annual Mothers' Day brunch. No one felt the need for maple syrup. I substituted a dense bakery bread (couldn't find challah) and used only 1/2 c half-n-half and 2 1/2 c soy milk. At the end of baking it did bubble up over the pan so be sure to put a pan underneath. I might try half the butter in the praline topping next time to cut back on the calories. This is a keeper!
Smiley, stickey faces on Sunday morning. Thank you for making the morning special!