1 /2-1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 loaf 9 inch round country bread (such as challah, you can also use a bagette, leaving on the crust)
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. In a small heavy saucepan melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth and pour into a 13x9x2″ baking dish.
2. Cut six 1″ thick slices from center portion of bread, reserving ends for another use, and trim crusts.
3. Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.
4. In a bowl whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla, Grand Marnier and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread.
5. Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.
6. Preheat oven to 350* and bring bread to room temperature.
7. Bake bread mixture, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, about 35 to 40 minutes.
8. Serve hot French toast immediately.