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)
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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.
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.
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.