While waiting for my cooking class to begin at my local library, I decided to peruse the cookbook section as I am on a cooking and baking kick. Immediately, Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa: How Easy Is That? caught my eye.
Besides the beautiful pictures in all of her cookbooks (credit to Quentin Bacon for this book specifically), I like the way her cookbooks seem to tell a story worth reading.
By page 18 of How Easy Is That? I was engaged in a steady drool. The simple list of ingredients for every recipe made me believe that even I could create such culinary masterpieces with ease.
So, the French Toast Bread Pudding had me at “5 cups half-and-half.”
Looking further through the list of ingredients, I realized I did not have a challah loaf or grated orange zest, but I threw caution to the wind and decided to substitute.
For the challah, I used the generic wheat bread in my pantry. Instead of the orange zest, I grated fresh nutmeg into the custardy mix. Since the hub must have used the last of the honey and failed to replenish, I simply left it out. In lieu of the 9 x 13 x 2 inch baking dish, I stretched to the back of my cabinet in order to retrieve my bundt pan. I was going all-out fancy for this one. Watch out Martha; here I come.
For the baking itself, I decided to skip the water bath and aluminum foil tent as I felt the bread had soaked long enough in the eight-egg mixture to compensate.
What ensued was pure fluffy, moist, souffle-e goodness. My oldest daughter who is certain she does not like eggs had three helpings.