Saturday, April 18, 2009

Baked French Toast Casserole

The recipe title just sounds delicious, doesn't it? Making your mouth water a little? Yeah, it did the same thing to me.

(Edit 4/4/2010: I've made this three times and the 2nd & 3rd time the french toast was a little soggy on the bottom. Still tastes great but the next time I make it I may pour out some of the liquid before baking to see if that helps - or reduce the milk/half & half. Just an FYI!)

I haven't always liked french toast (I know, I'm weird) but in the past 5 years it has become one of my favorite breakfast foods. My friend Stacy suggested I give this french toast casserole recipe a try. It's by Paula Deen and it's great because you make it the night before. In the morning all you have to do is bake it for 45 minutes. Easy & delicious!

1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
Butter, for pan
8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Praline Topping:
2 sticks butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans (I only used half a cup because pecans are freakin expensive right now!)
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch thick each. Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch baking dish in 3 rows, overlapping the slices.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Take casserole out of the refrigerator and start making the praline topping. Combine the praline ingredients into a bowl and blend well. I took the slices and flipped them over. The top looked dried out and the bottoms were soaked in the egg/milk mixture. I just flipped all the slices over and then put the praline topping over the bread. The topping is thick and sort of hard to spread. Just do your best!

Bake for 45-60 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. I ended up baking mine closer to an hour to get the tops crispy, which I recommend. I made this a second time and only cooked it for 45 minutes and thought it was too soggy. I didn't think it needed the syrup that Paula Deen recommends serving this with. We had this Easter morning and actually it didn't need any syrup at all!

Thanks for suggesting this recipe Stacy, it's definitely a keeper!


Hannah said...

Really nice blog! Isn't blogging fun??!! and rewarding! i like yours! That casserole looks so good! it is making me hungry!!! Please come and check out mine too, if you want!


You can follow too, if possible!

Anonymous said...

The videos are really fun, and that french toast casserole really is a keeper. Enjoy your "girls day" only weekend. Lynn