Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Baked French Toast

So I've recently been stuck in a rut when it comes to baking, thanks to botched attempts at homemade "Easy Mac" and donuts. It's really been quite frustrating. But this recipe - one that has the potential to be a regular holiday gem - went largely according to plan (thank goodness)! So here it is: a recipe for prep-ahead-of-time, cook-in-the-oven french toast. It keeps very well (it's been sitting on the kitchen counter for days now, and is still scrumptious to nibble on), and makes a TON (i.e. a whole cake full). Enjoy!

French Toast -
1 loaf crusty sourdough or french break
8 whole eggs
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla 

Topping -
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces
nutmeg, to taste (optional)
fresh fruit (optional)

Grease 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Tear bread into chunks and place spread-out in the pan.

Mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla, then 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, and some nutmeg if you like. Add in the butter pieces and beat into the dry mixture until the whole thing resembles fine pebbles - or something like that. Don't worry too much if you don't get a perfect "pebble-like" look; mine turned out mushy and more like a giant cookie dough-esque clump, and it still turned out okay. Store your pebble mixture in a Ziploc baggie in the fridge.

When you're ready to bake the casserole, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the french toast from the fridge and sprinkle on first the fruit (if you're using fruit) and then the pebble mixture over the top. Bake for 45-60 minutes (keep it closer to 45 if you desire a bread pudding-type thing, or an hour if you want it more solid-like). 

Top with butter and drizzle with maple syrup. Then eat.

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