Eggnog Overnight French Toast
Like a good pitcher of eggnog, this French toast is rich, sweet, boozy and covered in nutmeg. Slicing the bread but keeping the base connected not only makes this an attractive breakfast centerpiece, it also feeds family and friends with little effort since all the servings bake simultaneously. Allowing it to soak in the refrigerator overnight deepens the dish’s flavors. Don’t worry about forcing the bread pieces apart when pouring in the soaking mixture: The loaf will flower naturally as it bakes. This dish is sweet enough to eat without a final drench in maple syrup, but it’s great with a mountain of fresh, tart berries. A little homemade whipped cream wouldn’t hurt either.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1(16-ounce) day-old, plain country bread loaf (oblong or similarly shaped)
- 2large eggs
- 1cup granulated sugar
- 1cup heavy cream
- 4tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1tablespoon dark rum, brandy or bourbon
- 2teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- Freshly grated nutmeg, for dusting
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Step 1Have a rimmed dish or pan (about 1 inch deep) that fits the bread loaf snugly nearby. Using a serrated knife, slice a very thin layer (about 1/16 inch) off the bottom of the loaf to expose the surface for better batter absorption. Cut the top of the bread in 1 1/2-inch-thick slices, being sure not to cut all the way through and leaving about 1/2 inch of bread at the bottom uncut. Then turn the loaf 90 degrees and cut 1 1/2-inch slices in the other direction to make a grid-like pattern, again, not cutting all the way through. Transfer the cut loaf to the dish.
Step 2In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, cream, melted butter, rum, vanilla and salt until well combined. Slowly pour the batter into the loaf beginning in the center. Gently peel back all the pieces to drench every crevice and the top of the loaf with the batter. Allow to soak for 30 minutes at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate up to overnight.
Step 3Heat the oven to 350 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Step 4Spoon any excess batter that has pooled into the dish back into the loaf and over any dry patches of bread. Carefully transfer the loaf to the lined baking sheet, and bake until the loaf is deeply golden brown on top and the custard has set, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and dust with the nutmeg and confectioners’ sugar. Serve immediately.