Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Baked French Toast

Let me share a little secret with you.

As a child, I never had French Toast. I don't know if my parents ever made it for me or not, but if they did, I'm sure I opted not to eat any. I was a very picky child, and I didn't really like any breakfast foods, with the exception of toast and dry cereal.

At some point during my teenage years, I somehow ended up with an order of French Toast sticks from Sonic, and I thought they were ahhh-mazing. Mainly because of the maple syrup. And yes, I realize fast food fried french toast sticks is not real French toast.

Skip ahead 10 years later, and I finally make my first French Toast, as a cooking demonstration for all my preschool students.

And then as of this weekend, I made a Baked French Toast casserole, and it was delicious. It goes without saying that you'll need to make this, stat.

You'll need:
-- 1/2 a loaf of sliced bread (sourdough, challah, ciabatta, brioche)
-- 3 eggs
-- 1 1/2 cups milk
-- 3 tsp pure vanilla extract
-- 1/2 tsp salt
-- 3 tbsp sugar

-- 1/4 cup flour
-- 1/4 cup brown sugar
-- 1 tbsp cinammon
-- 1/2 tsp salt
-- 4 tbsp (half a stick) butter, cold

You'll want to be able to let this sit for at least 2 hours before you bake it...but overnight is recommended. Which works out really well...you assemble this the night before, store it in the fridge, and then put it in the over the next morning. So easy!

Butter a small square baking dish. (either 8 X 8 or 9 X 9) Cover the bottom of the dish with a layer of bread. My bread fit two slices perfectly in the bottom, but cut or tear your bread as needed. Fill the dish with another layer or two of bread, depending on how thickly your bread is sliced. Mine was sliced pretty thinly, so I did three layers.

Then mix the first set of ingredients together. Whisk together the milk and eggs, and stir in vanilla and sugar.

Pour the egg-milk mixture over the bread layers.

Cover the dish with saran wrap or foil and store in the refrigerator for a few hours or over night. The bread needs time to soak up the liquid.

In the meantime, make the struesel topping. (if you're wanting a less sweet baked french toast, you could skip this step, but I can't imagine why you'd want to do that!)
In a bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.

Cut half a stick of cold butter into little pieces.

Then incorporate the butter into the flour-sugar mixture.

Cover the bowl, or store the mixture in a ziploc and store in the fridge until baking time.

The next morning, or a few hours later, bake the French toast casserole for 20 minutes at 425 degrees. Remove the baking dish from the oven, sprinkle the streusel topping on top, and bake for another 15 minutes.

Cut into pieces and enjoy as is, or serve with fresh fruit, whipped cream, or maple syrup.
The edge pieces will be a little crispy, and the inside will be very custard-y like.

Of course, since we had company over, 
I didn't think to take a picture until after we started eating. Oops!

With the exception of my ridiculously picky child, we all enjoyed the Baked French Toast. Kaylee tried the few bites she was forced to have and then opted for a piece of plain bread instead. Sigh.

I would definitely recommend this for a fun weekend breakfast, and for sure if you're hosting a breakfast or a brunch or something. It's so nice that it can all be assembled the night before and requires no attention besides baking in the morning.

(The recipe I'm sharing is for the small family sized version. It will feed 4-6 people. If you're wanting a larger casserole, just double the recipe and use a 9 X 13 baking dish.)

Don't forget to get in on the Happy Baby deliciousness!


  1. I never had it as a child either...look scrumptious! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hmmm! I love French toast :)

  3. Looks delicious! French toast wasn't a staple at my home growing up either, and quite honestly I don't eat it much now. This recipe is making me re-consider it!

  4. LOVE french toast, my parents made it ALLLL the time when I was little. I even asked for it for dinner quite a few times. So, this recipe looks so delicious and with my mom visiting us in less than a month I'll be trying it out. :)

  5. YES YES YES! oh my word!

    i will be making this now!

    (that's a song in my head.)

  6. YUMMY! My breakfast when I was growing up consisted of boxed cereal of some kind. Every morning from as far back as I can remember. (maybe why I opt not to eat breakfast 90% of the time)My hubby however was spoiled and had a home cooked breakfast every morning of his life (until he married me) SO when I do cook breakfast it goes without saying that its devoured. My guys will love this and I exp. like the part where you make it the night before!

  7. Mmm...your french toast casserole looks amazing!!! I love french toast!

  8. Sounds yummy!! My childhood breakfast food treat was every weekend my parents made "Bubble Rolls." All it is is the little frozen dinner rolls (they're like the size of golf balls) rolled in melted butter, then cinnamon & sugar, left to rise over night, then baked & covered with powdered sugar/water frosting! So simple & delicious that I make them for students all the time! But maybe I'll branch out and try the french toast casserole :)

  9. YUM!! This looks divine! I don't think I've ever really had french toast either. Or I just can't remember it. It always looks too syrupy.

  10. Ok yes, I totally have to try this. Looks amazing!!!

  11. Yum! I have one like that you set overnight and then add some caro syrup to the mixture of butter and sugar and melt before pouring on....its to die for! Not an every day, week or month food but hey, Easter is this weekend. Perfect brunch get you through church, add to the crazed, glazed, sugar eyes....yum!

  12. I have had french toast planned in my head for Easter Sunday and this recipe looks AMAZING!!!! I am SO going to do this!!! I will be taking it a step further and cut the bread into bunny shapes.

  13. Hey chica- That looks soooo good! I gave you the Versatile Blogger award for all of your hard work and efforts! Check it out http://www.classifiedmom.com/2011/04/versatile-blogger-award-yay.html

  14. Your kid must be super picky to not want that! I'm going to make this the next time I have all the ingredients!

  15. This looks delicious. I love that I can make it the night before. I will definately use the struesel topping!

  16. This looks so delicious! : ) YUMMY! My Mom made french toast a lot.

  17. I am not much of a breakfast eater but that looks super yummy. Who knew you could bake french toast?

  18. I love breakfast foods! And if I had my choice, dry cereal would not be on the menu. French toast is one of my favorites and this looks incredible! I can hear my stomach grumbling for it now. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Definitely going to have to try it out!

  19. mmmmm this looks delicious. :) I think Clayton likes it that I read your blog because of posts like this!

  20. I never really had french toast growing up either!!! this look soooooo good!!!! Im def going to make this, this weekend!!!! YUUUUUMMMMMMMM! <3

  21. that looks so good and I have eggs & bread I need to use up! thanks!

    and thank you for visiting the long and the short of it! following you back!

  22. How fitting that I ate French toast for breakfast...oh...about 30 min. ago. Gee, should've read THIS recipe last night. ;)

  23. This looks heavenly! Visiting from peas and crayons- I would love it if you linked this up to Workshop Wednesday- we could use something a little sweet! goobyecityhellosuburbs

  24. Ooo this looks very good. I need to make this soon!

  25. I love french toast but I have never had it like this before... it looks delicious! I wonder if it would freeze well.. I have a bag sealer so I love using it to freeze casseroles and then eating them later. Thanks for sharing!

  26. I made this for Christmas breakfast and everyone loved it! Faith ate a whole bunch of it too. :)


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