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French Toast Bread Pudding (Christine Lavin)

Who doesn't like bread pudding?
Who doesn't like French toast?
If you know me at all you know
I'm not one to boast

But I am going to give you the recipe
For the best thing I can bake
And the good news is 15 minutes
Is all the prep time it will take

I'm talking French toast bread pudding
French toast bread pudding
French toast bread pudding

Crack 7 eggs into a big bowl
Whisk 'em all around
Add 2-1/2 cups 2% milk
Some cinnamon freshly ground
Stir in 1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla you're halfway there
that took less time than Donald Trump takes
to arrange his strange hair

I'm talking French toast bread pudding
French toast bread pudding
French toast bread pudding

Rip up half a loaf of bread:
Challah, brioche, or Pepperidge Farm
Any white bread, stale is fine
You just can't do this recipe harm

Put the torn up bread
in two well-buttered aluminum loaf pans
Pour on the egg & milk mixture
Divide as evenly as you can

You're makin' I'm French toast bread pudding
French toast bread pudding
French toast bread pudding

Use a spatula to smush the bread down
Get it good and soaking wet
Sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg
You're almost done but not quite yet

Wrap each pan in aluminum foil
Put 'em in the fridge and go to bed
When you wake up put 'em in a cold oven
Yes, a cold oven is what she said

Set the oven at 350 degrees Farenheit
Bake for 30 minutes wrapped
But it shouldn't be wrapped too tight
Because after 30 minutes you unwrap
Then bake for 35 minutes more
By now half the neighborhood
Will be knocking at your door screaming:

I want French toast bread pudding
Gimme French toast bread pudding
I'd kill for French toast bread pudding

When it's done it's all puffed up
Like a pretentious Parisian soufflé
When it's not jiggly but firm to the touch
Take it out of the oven right away

Serve it with maple syrup
Serve it with bacon on the side
Serve it with a smile
Take your tastebuds for a ride

A ride called French toast bread pudding
French toast bread pudding
French toast bread pudding
This recipe came from a lovely woman in the audience at my concert in Dallas, Texas. I never got her name -- but thank you, whoever you are! Takes only 15 minutes to prepare the night before.

Challah (or brioche or French bread or regular white bread)
7 eggs (or 8 -- you just can't mess up this recipe!)
2-1/2 cups 2% milk (or regular milk if you are skinny)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla (the good stuff from Madagascar)
1/4 teaspoon or so of fresh ground nutmeg (don't use the powdered stuff). You can add raisins, too! And orange zest!

I make this in 2 aluminum loaf pans (the disposable kind). Butter them well. If you want to make it extra special, lightly dust the bottom and sides of the pans with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon (in proportions of 4:1 sugar to cinnamon). Tear up the challah into small pieces and fill the loaf pan about halfway to 2/3 up with torn bread.

Mix together the next 4 ingredients (eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla, with a wire whisk or hand mixer on low) and pour over the ripped up bread. Sprinkle fresh ground nutmeg on the tops of both pans. Take a spatula and smush the bread down in the egg mixture so it gets good and soaked. Then wrap both pans in aluminum foil and put in the fridge. Go to bed. Sweet dreams!

The next day, put the pans in a COLD oven (kids can help do this since the oven isn't hot yet). Turn it on to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 30 minutes. Take the foil OFF and continue baking approximately 35 minutes more. It will puff up and be 'set.' If it's wiggly it needs a little more time. The puffing up is the key. Last night I made 4 pans and had to do it an extra 15 minutes, so it depends on your oven.

Serve with maple syrup. It's so delicious, and so easy since you do it the night before. Serve hot, warm or cold.
Bon apetit!
Christine Lavin


© 2004 Christine Lavin ASCAP