Monday, March 18, 2013

Overnight Baked French Toast Casserole


Hi, y'all!

I'm back from my unplanned 2-week blog vacation. 

And I brought you French Toast!

It's the best kind of french toast too. It's the kind that you make the day before, stick in the fridge, and have a restful night's sleep. Then pop it in the oven the next morning and look like a hero an hour later. 

I tell ya. A hero. 

Or - you could make it the day before, completely forget that there's french toast to be had, leave it sitting in the fridge all day, and then, when in search of a cheese stick at 4 pm, stumble across it and scream elated, "We're having French Toast for dinner! Hope that's ok!"

And trust me - it's always ok. 

Start off with brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and butter. Mix it all up in the bottom of the pan. 

Chop up a nearly whole loaf of several-day-old rustic Italian bread (the kind that's bigger, not the skinny baguette type - and a week old is just fine). I like them in long strips, with a few cubes. 

Line the strips up in the bottom of the pan, topping them with the cubes for a nice even-ish layer. 

In a ridiculously large measuring cup (or a big bowl) crack in 7 eggs. Add in 1 cup of cream and 5 cups of milk. And then a healthy shot of vanilla and a bit of brown sugar for good measure. 

Mix it all up and pour over the bread. If it doesn't all fit, wait 20 minutes for the bread to soak it up and see if you can add more. If you have any leftover at that point, put it in a container in the fridge cause you might need it the next day. 

Cover the pan and put it in the fridge. Go to bed. 

Wake up the next morning and look at the pan - does the bread look dry at all? If it's not super soggy, add more of the remaining milk mixture. Let rest and soak for 20 minutes. 

Bake at 375 for an hour - until the whole thing has puffed up several inches. It's done when you tap it and it wobbles like jello. All over. 

Pull it out and let it rest for 15 minutes. Slice and serve flipped over with the brown sugar glaze on top. 


Overnight Baked French Toast Casserole
Makes 1 9x13 pan

1 loaf rustic Italian bread, several days old (a week is just fine)
1 3/4 c. brown sugar, divided
1 & a half sticks of butter, melted
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
7 eggs
1 c. cream 
5 c. milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

In the bottom of a 9x13 pan, mix 1 1/2 c. of the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and melted butter together. Spread it out evenly. 

Slice up the Italian bread into strips and cubes. Line the pan with the strips and top with the cubes.Try to get it decently even.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, remaining 1/4 c. of the brown sugar, and vanilla.

Pour as much as you can into the dish to cover the bread. Let soak in for 20 minutes, then pour in as much more as will fit. Keep any leftover in a dish in the fridge - you may need it tomorrow. 

Cover the french toast and rest in the fridge overnight. In the morning, check and see if any more of the liquid will fit in. Let rest another 20 minutes out of the fridge. 

Bake for an hour at 350 degrees, until puffed up all over and golden. It should wiggle like jello. 

Let rest for 15 minutes. Then slice into and serve upside down. No need for syrup!

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