Baked French Toast

This little blog of mine has gotten away from me for the past few weeks. No excuse really. I just have not had a lot of original things cooking lately. Life has been pretty busy, and we have been doing some quick standards. A rotisserie chicken, a steak thrown on the grill or some spaghetti. The busy last few weeks also included the Jewish High Holidays for us, so it’s been pretty non-stop.

Yom Kippur ended last night and we broke our 25 hour fast the same way we have done every year for the past 9. Good friends and good food which always includes my Baked French Toast. I was host this year, so it was nice in a way to time the baking by popping into my over right before my hungry guests arrived. This is a great recipe which I adapted from Ree Drummond, Pioneer Woman. She used a crusty Italian or French bread in hers, but I truly believe challah should be the bread of choice. Given the fact that she’s out in the middle of no man’s land Oklahoma, challah is probably not readily available. Hell, it’s sometimes hard for me to find in supermarkets out here in Maryland. Challah is softer and richer tasting due to the eggs. i’m sure it’s delicious with what ever bread you decide to use.

You may be used to the braided challah. Challahs during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are traditionally round in shape.

Start with a challah. I actually bought mine 5 days before I used it and let it get a bit stale. Even though challah is more tender bread, you want to dry it out a bit so that can really absorb the custard.

Nothing fancy here. Just rip the challah into pieces and spread evenly into a casserole dish.

Milk, cream, eggs, sugar and vanilla make up the custard that you pour over your challah pieces.

Now the best part. You put some aluminum foil on it and put it in your fridge over night. Give it a good 12 hours at least to soak up all that custard.

Make the topping with brown sugar, flour, cold butter, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle evenly over the top.

Put it into the oven and bake it for an hour. The house will start to smell insane.

You can serve it with some maple syrup, but honestly I think i’ts perfect just as it is. This also makes the rounds at breakfast potlucks at school.

Baked French Toast Casserole

  • 1 medium to large challah
  • 8 whole Eggs
  • 2 cups Whole Milk
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • 1/2 cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 stick Cold Butter, Cut Into Pieces

Grease the baking pan with butter, or spray with cooking spray. Tear the bread into chunks, and evenly distribute in the pan. Crack the eggs in a big bowl. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, granulated sugar and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover the pan tightly and store in the fridge until needed (overnight preferably). Or you can make it and bake it right away.

For the topping: Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and some nutmeg in a separate bowl. Stir together using a fork. Add the butter and with a pastry cutter, and mix it all together until the mixture resembles fine pebbles. I use a food processor for this step. Store in a plastic bag in the fridge.

When you’re ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the casserole from the fridge and sprinkle the topping over the top. Bake for about an hour.