Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shingle bread halves through pan as desired, sprinkle with nuts.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla, whisk until fully incorporated. Pour over shingled bread, and lightly push down with a fork until bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture, let rest about 10 minutes.
Cover with foil and bake 1 hour 15 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly tapped.