Baked French Toast

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Sub-zero and/or snowy mornings call for baked goods for breakfast.  Especially baked goods that you can put together the night before and have ready to pop into the oven first thing in the morning.  We’re experiencing another snow storm here in the Midwest.  We probably had a good four inches overnight, and it’s still coming down!  My husband and I are some of those rare people in Chicago who get excited about the snow.  I know that everyone is sick of it by now, but we love it!  It gives me an excuse to stay inside and bake all day.  Plus it’s actually a pretty warm day by Chicagoland standards, so we’ll probably do a little sledding later!

sledding

This French toast is big enough to feed a crowd, but will keep well for a few days in the refrigerator.  We are only a family of three, so we enjoyed this breakfast for a few days.  If you’re a cinnamon fan like I am, you’ll love how the top of this gets a nice buttery, cinnamony crunch.  The fruit is optional, but it’s a nice touch in my opinion.  You can use whatever fruit you have on hand.  Raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, apples, etc. would all work well.

Baked French Toast, adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 1 loaf Crusty Sourdough Or French Bread
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup whipping (heavy) cream
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract

FOR THE 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
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen fruit (optional)

Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with butter. Tear bread into chunks (or cut into cubes) and evenly distribute in the pan.

In a medium sized bowl mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover tightly and store in the fridge for several hours or overnight.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add nutmeg if desired. Add butter pieces and cut them 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 F. Remove casserole from the fridge and sprinkle crumb mixture over the top. (If you’re using fruit, sprinkle on before the crumb mixture.) 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.

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