Trim crusts off bread and cut loaf cross-wise into 3/4 inch thick slices.
Arrange 8 to 10 slices diagonally in a buttered 8-inch square pan you may have to overlap them on each other and push and tug a bit to get them to fit without overlapping the edges of the pan.
Whisk the eggs, half-and-half, sugar, nutmeg and vanilla together until well blended, then gently pour over the bread and soak for about 30 to 40 minutes until its al soaked up you may need to coax it a bit by spooning some of the liquid over the top.
Bake in 350 oven for about 30 minutes, or until custard is cooked in the center.
If desired, run the pan under the broiler about 3 to 4 inches from the heat for a golden and crusty top (optional).