1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg or cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vegetable oil spray or melted butter
1 loaf (8 ounces) French bread, cut into 12 1-inch slices
1/2 cup chopped Georgia pecans
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Place the eggs, milk, sugar, nutmeg or cinnamon and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Mist the bottom of a 12-by-8-inch glass casserole with vegetable oil spray or brush with melted butter. Place the bread slices in a single layer in the pan. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, distributing it evenly. Turn the bread slices once. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.
The next morning, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the pan from the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. Sprinkle the bread slices with pecans and drizzle with melted butter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until bread slices puff up and pecans are deep brown but not burned. Serve warm with maple syrup.
Variation: Instead of a cup of milk, use 2/3 cup orange juice and 1/3 cup of the milk. You can vary this further by adding a little grated orange zest with the pecans before baking.