Baked French Toast is Delightful

Back in March, I had the occasion to be in NYC with a small group of friends. Being the early riser that I am, I mentally jumped at the opportunity have a little warm breakfast available when people slowly made their way into the kitchen.

Thanks to a big ole chili dinner the night before, there was a perfectly stale loaf of French bread for the taking. So I turned the whole thing into a baked French Toast casserole. I wish I could say I knew what went into it but in typical fashion.... I just mixed until it looked about right. Not helpful for the future.

Mother's Day seemed like a great opportunity to give it another go. Our family loves breakfast and we also love things that have limited to zero clean-up. This dish most certainly fits the bill. Hello breakfast casserole!

I did all the prep work the night before in the North End which pretty much meant cutting the bread, mixing the eggs, and making the topping. Not challenging at all. Theoretically you can assemble it the dish (minus topping) and put it in the fridge for up to 8 hours before, I held off on this because I felt like it would be easier to transport separately. You can go either way.

Our Mother's Day spread? French Toast Casserole, Niman Ranch Bacon, and gorgeous fresh berries... while a big ole pot of coffee. The bacon was separated into two plates: crispy and floppy. That's just how we roll.
A few notes:

  • Some people don't like the "custard" part of this baked french toast. I think honestly if you asked my mom if she would like it, she'd say no. You can just make a little less of the egg/cream mixture in this case. It turns out totally fine and just make more of the bread really crispy.
  • The crispier you let the top layer of bread get... the better.
  • If you are trying to make this a healthier option, you can opt out of the heavy cream and 2% milk. Just swap in a lower fat milk and it'll be fine. Obviously, the higher fat the milk the better ... but you'll be good either way.

How it goes down.
(Step 1) Place bread cubes in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.
(Step 2) In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt. Pour over bread.
(Step 3) Combine the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle over the top.
(Step 4) Cover and bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Shopping List
1 loaf (1 pound) French bread, cut or torn into 1-inch cubes
8 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups 2% milk
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg

TOPPING:
1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
1/2 cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 pinch Nutmeg
1 stick Cold Butter, Cut Into Pieces

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