1 loaf challah, fresh or stale
2/3 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
2 whole eggs
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped
3 ounces bourbon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Ice cream (optional, for serving)
Chopped toasted nuts (optional, for serving)
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
2. Cut challah into large cubes and place in a large bowl.
3. Heat milk and cream in a medium-size pot until the mixture almost boils. Add sugar and whisk until dissolved. Whisk in eggs, sugar, bourbon, spices, and vanilla.
4. Pour egg and cream mixture over challah and toss, evenly coating bread cubes. Press mixture into 9-by-13-inch cake pan.
5. Bake until top is slightly browned and feels firm, about 40 minutes. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream and chopped toasted nuts.
- From Tova du Plessis of Essen Bakery