Friday, January 4, 2013

Baked French Toast

I don't love French Toast.

It's true.  But the rest of the family does, so I made this easy baked French toast recipe a few weeks ago, and it turned out pretty well.  I made it in the morning, and baked it for dinner - we do breakfast for dinner almost every week.  You could also do this in the evening and let it sit in the fridge overnight, and then bake it in the morning.  It's great when you have guests, or want a nice lazy morning Brunch dish.

That isn't the most attractive photo, but it tasted great, and smelled fantastic as it was baking!

Easy Baked French Toast

1 loaf of Challah bread, sliced about 1" thick, slightly stale (you could also use a hearty French bread)
6 eggs
4 c. milk (I used 3 c. skim milk and 1 c. half & half since I needed to use it up)
1 tbsp. granulated sugar  (depending on what you're serving with it, you could do a little more)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon (I'm wondering if I made it with cinnamon raisin bread next time, what would happen?)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Optional: add in 2 tbsp. or so maple syrup (the real stuff, please) for a little extra flavor, and/or some frozen berries (you could use dried fruit, too)

Add eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt in a bowl, and whisk to combine.  Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish, and then layer half of the slices of bread in the bottom of the dish.  Pour half of the egg mixture over top.

I added in a handful of frozen blueberries, since I had them on hand (I had frozen a bunch of leftover berries before they disappeared into obscurity in the fridge  and happened to find the little container in the freezer - score!).  Since I was testing out the recipe, I only added them to half of the pan, in case the kiddos didn't want/like them, between the layers of bread.  (They went over well, and and I would definitely add them in again).   You could also sprinkle some nuts in there, or over top if you like them kind of crunchy.

Cover with the remaining slice of bread, and then pour the rest of the egg mixture over the top, as evenly as possibly.  Press the bread down a bit, to really soak in the liquid.   Top with a little sprinkle of cinnamon, some nuts or a few more berries if you like, then cover with plastic wrap tightly. Refrigerate overnight or at least for 6-8 hours (I rushed it a little  by doing it in the late morning, so I needed to cook it a little longer - I'd do it the night before next time).

Baked in a preheated oven at 425 degrees, uncovered, until it is golden and puffy-looking (seriously, that's the best way to describe it).  This should take 30-45 minutes. Let it sit for about 5 minutes before you slice into it, and then serve with your favorite toppings - fresh berries, warmed maple syrup, or whatever your family likes.  Enjoy!

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