1 loaf crusty country-style bread, sliced 1-inch thick (dried for 1 hour in open air)
1 1/2 cups eggnog, store-bought or homemade
2 tablespoons dark rum (optional, can omit or use 2 teaspoons rum extract)
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. Place a metal wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet. Place it in an oven and turn the oven to 250°F.
2. Combine the eggnog, rum (if using) eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk until uniform in color. Dunk two or three pieces of bread into the batter, flipping over to make sure both sides get covered.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet or griddle on medium heat. Once the butter has melted, move the soaked bread from the bowl (or baking pan) using tongs or your fingers, letting any excess batter drip off the bread. If you left the toast to soak overnight, be careful as the bread will be more fragile. Fry the toast for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown. Flip the toast with a spatula and continue to cook for an additional 2 or 3 minutes until both sides are equally brown. While the toast is cooking, place more slices in the bowl to soak up the batter.
4. Move the finished toast to the wire rack in the oven, and repeat with the remaining bread, soaking first then frying. Serve immediately with maple syrup or whipped cream.