If you're having guests for Sunday brunch, you'll need to start this Friday night. This is what you'll need:
Remote temperature probe
1 good sized loaf of crusty bread, or two baguettes.
3 1/2 cups of milk
1 cup of brown sugar
2 tblsp. of cinnamon
1 tsp. fresh-grated nutmeg
1/4 cup butter
1 cup chopped pecans
Cut the bread into 3/4 inch slices on Friday night, and leave it out to dry. At some point on Saturday, lay the bread out on a baking sheet and bake it in a 150 degree oven for 5-6 hours to dry it out very thoroughly. Let the bread cool while you mix the eggs, milk, 3/4 of a cup of brown sugar, the cinnamon and nutmeg. Arrange the bread in a casserole dish, pour the mixture over the bread, cover and refrigerate over night. There should still be some liquid in the dish, waiting to be absorbed into the bread. If not, you can add more eggs and milk. Just be sure to mix them well and maintain a ratio of 1 egg to 1/2 cup milk.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a microwave-safe bowl and mix with the remaining 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Pour over the top of the casserole and scatter the pecans on top. Insert the temperature probe in the middle of the casserole (be sure it's not touching the bottom of the dish) and set the alarm for 170 degrees (should take about 40 minutes). When the alarm goes off, turn the oven up to 400 degrees and set the alarm for 190.