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Ratio of challah to eggs to liquid in French toast bread pudding + Can I make it ahead? ;o)

I want to make a sweetish baked French toast pudding using challah and fresh pears (which will be sliced thinly . . . they're Bartletts and will be firm but just ripe). What is the best ratio of challah to eggs to half-and-half? I'll be using a 9 x 13 pan. Also, is there any reason not to assemble it the night before, and bake in the morning? (I'm wondering if the fresh pears might affect the result. I don't care if they're a little brown, as they'll be tossed in spices anyway.) Thanks, everyone. ;o)

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

asked over 2 years ago
6 answers 2509 views
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added over 2 years ago

I have a few suggestions. Try soaking some of your challah in your French toast custard. See if it holds up after 10 or 15 minutes and you might have your answer. I know a hearty bread like sourdough could hold up, but I'm not sure about challah.
You could just alter a bread pudding recipe by deducting some of the sugar, perhaps. Cut up your challah as you see fit and toast it really really well.
Lastly, you could par-bake and bake it the rest of the way in the morning or just warm it up.

Sarah_chef
Reiney

Sarah is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 2 years ago

8 eggs per litre of liquid will set a custard - whether that's cream or half-half or milk, or if you add more yolks - all that just affects the richness.

As to how much liquid - you want the bread to soak as much as possible, but if you let it set overnight you might find it gets quite soggy and loses definition, which may or may not be desirable.

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added over 2 years ago

I really like this recipe. You might be able to use it as a guide. I don't think the pears will affect cooking time much if they are sliced very thin. They will contribute some liquid to the mix, though. I would agree with Sarah that soaking overnight might make things too mushy. Why not make the custard the night before, assemble the bread in the pan, and then combine in the morning.

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added over 2 years ago

whoops:

http://www.foodnetwork...

Photo_squirrel
added over 2 years ago

hi AJ, here is my recipe for croissant bread pudding. you can sub challah for croissant in this; just using the ratios that i use. the whole idea of bread pudding is for things to get mushy, so sitting overnight is just fine.
best,
mindy

CHOCOLATE ALMOND CROISSANT BREAD PUDDING

As decadent as it gets!! s. 8- 12


6 TRADER JOE’S ALMOND CROISSANTS (20 OU.), cubed
6-8 OU. FINE DARK CHOCOLATE, chopped
(up to twice the size of chocolate chips)
3/4 C. TOASTED ALMONDS, roughly chopped
4 OU. ALMOND PASTE, chopped- optional
1/2- 3/4C. TRADER JOE’S DRIED TART MONTMERENCY CHERRIES
6 LG EGGS
2 LG EGG YOLKS
1 C. SUGAR
1 ½ C. HEAVY CREAM
2 2/3 C. WHOLE MILK
1/4- 1/2 C. BRANDY
2 TSP. VANILLA
½ TSP. KOSHER SALT
2-4 T. COLD UNSALTED BUTTER, chopped

Cube croissants, spread out on sheet pan and air dry for a day or toast lightly in
250 degree oven ½- 1 hr. Spread evenly in a buttered or pam’d 9 x 12” non-metallic baking dish. Distribute almonds, chocolate, almond paste and cherries in the pan, tucking in with the cubes.
Whisk egg yolks and eggs til combined, add liquids, sugar and salt. Pour over the dish, pushing down on the croissant mixture to submerge in the liquid. Dot with butter. Chill 1 hr- 24 hrs.

Bake at 350 degrees, 40 minutes until lightly browned and custard is set. Cut and serve as is or napped with vanilla crème anglaise.

Substitute for additions (nuts, fruit, chocolate, brandy) or milk for cream as you like.

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ATL
added over 2 years ago

The preceding recipe using croissants looks fantastic! May I also suggest for any bread pudding using a loaf of brioche. Just cube it as you would any other bread. When I've done this, guests have agreed that the distinctive eggy, slightly sweet flavor surpasses challah, although it is similar. Trader Joe's sells a brioche loaf that makes good toast, French toast, or bread pudding.