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French Toast Casserole: Sunday Brunch Bliss

May 22, 2011

Posted by:  Jenny


French toast is the stuff breakfast dreams are made of.   It’s warm, it’s fluffy, it’s sticky-sweet with cinnamon and nutmeg and brown sugar to spare.   You awaken on a lazy weekend morning to its inviting scent wafting into your bedroom, your face breaking into a sleepy smile as you inhale deeply.  You bound downstairs in your comfy pajamas and fuzzy slippers and, with one bite, know that all is right in the world.

Yeah, whatever.   I made this casserole last night at 11 PM and downed it alongside a whiskey sour while watching YouTube videos.  Not quite the idealized vision of Sunday brunch that accompanies most commercials about pancakes or waffles or other breakfast sweets, but hey, I enjoyed it.

If you do happen to be a breakfast person, this casserole version of French toast will allow you to prepare everything the night before and pop it into the oven the next morning.  This is a good recipe when you have many guests and don’t want to stand at the oven flipping individual slices of French toast.

Ingredients:

5 slices of bread, toasted and cubed (I used Cinnamon and Brown Sugar bread, toasted it on a cookie sheet while the oven preheated, and tore each slice into four pieces.  If you make the bread too small, it may become soggy.)

Custard:

  • 3-4 eggs (I used 3; original recipe calls for 4)
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup half-n-half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Dash of salt


Topping:

  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray an 8X8 casserole dish with cooking spray, and grease the bottom with butter.

2) Line the bottom of dish with the bread.

3) Mix the wet ingredients for the custard with a whisk until well blended.  Stir in the dry ingredients.

4) Pour the custard mix over the bread.  Let sit for ten minutes to allow the bread to soak up the custard.

5) Mix the ingredients for the topping in a small bowl.  Sprinkle over the top of casserole.

6) Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes.  Serve with pancake syrup.

You can adapt this recipe to your tastes, changing the spices depending on what your family likes.   I even added a little bit of syrup directly to the custard mix.

As I said, you can let this sit in the fridge overnight, but one complaint some reviewers have is that the bread gets too soggy.  Do NOT let the casserole sit overnight unless you are using a thick, dry bread.  You can mix everything up the night before, layer the bread in the pan, and just pour the custard over it the next morning before baking.

Recipe modified from: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/French-Toast-Casserole/Detail.aspx

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