Saturday, July 28, 2012

Baked French Toast

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. If I could only choose one meal to eat all day every day, it would have to be breakfast. It can be sweet. It can be savory. It can be so many things - eggs (scrambled, fried, omelet), waffles, quiche, pancakes, sammiches and the list could go on forever. There is just so much variety when it comes to breakfast. Don't you agree?

I am a girl that usually goes for eggs for breakfast (give me that protein!), but sometimes I just crave something sweet. Something sweet, ooey gooey and dripping with syrup. This baked french toast does just the trick. It's a cinch to throw together and even better, you can make it the night ahead (or just soak for a few hours, but I like overnight), pop in the fridge and then take out and bake. This baked french toast is awesome for a quick and easy breakfast for the family or a great make ahead for a big breakfast or brunch party. My only warning for you is that this recipe makes a lot and you may not be able to have just one piece. The french bread is drenched in a sweet egg custard and is then topped with a cinnamon sugar topping that has this delicious crunch when you bite into it. It's almost like cinnamon sugar bread. Did you ever make that? Maybe I am the only one - slap on some butter to bread, sprinkle cinnamon sugar and bake. So good, but this french toast is better. WAY BETTER. The perfect weekend breakfast or a just because breakfast. Perhaps you should surprise someone you love with this. I think they will love you even more after.

if you can, use a day or two (even better!) old bread. It absorbs the custard better!

guess I forgot to take other pictures. Damn you instagram! This is post bake. Look at that crunch cinnamon sugar topping.

Sunday morning breakfast with my captain. xoxo.
Baked French Toast (The Pioneer Woman)

French Toast
1 loaf Crusty Sourdough Or French Bread
8 whole Eggs
2 cups Whole Milk
1/2 cup Whipping (heavy) Cream
3/4 cups Sugar
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

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

Grease 9 x 13-inch baking pan with butter or non-stick spray (I forgot to do this. OOPS).

Tear bread into chunks (or cut into cubes) and evenly distribute in the pan. Mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Pour evenly over bread. Cover tightly and store in the fridge several hours or overnight.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add nutmeg if desired. Add butter pieces and but into the dry mixture until mixture resembles fine pebbles. Store in a Ziploc in the fridge. 

When you're ready to bake the casserole, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove casserole from oven and sprinkle crumb mixture over the top.  Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture. Bake 1 hour or more for a firmer, less liquid texture. Scoop out individual portions. Top with butter and drizzle with maple syrup.

See, I told you this was easy. Maybe a little too easy. Just promise me you won't eat the whole pan in one sitting.


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