Prep this breakfast casserole the night before and wake up to an easy breakfast or brunch that is packed with holiday flavors.
Note: When we originally created this recipe, we used a cast iron pan. After a comment from one of our readers, we have learned that acidic foods can actually cause a cast iron pan (especially newer or unseasoned cast iron pans) to impart an iron/metallic flavor into the food. Because of this, we have decided to call for a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish instead of a cast iron pan in the recipe.
6 (1-inch) slices French Loaf, cut into cubes
6 (1-inch) slices Pumpernickel Loaf, cut into cubes
4 slices cooked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup nuts like walnuts or pecans
8 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 cups half and half or cream
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Real maple syrup for serving
Add bread pieces, bacon and nuts to a 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish or 12-inch oven safe skillet.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin puree, half and half, brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt until well blended.
Pour egg mixture over bread, making sure they are evenly covered. Press the bread down slightly to help the bread absorb the egg mixture. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
The next day, heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake covered for 40 minutes and then uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the center is set and the top is puffed and golden brown. Serve warm with a drizzle of maple syrup.