French toast is a favorite way of cooks to make use of left over bread. It provides a nutritious breakfast for the family using whole grain bread, eggs and milk. The syrup adds calories for quick energy to start the day. When prepared as a breakfast casserole, the dish makes it possible to prepare breakfast for a large group the night before and pop it in the oven to bake for the morning. When you have a little more time and want to prepare a special breakfast for a small group, try stuffing with jam or hazelnut spread.
Baked French Toast Breakfast Casserole
In order to create this casserole, begin with a good loaf or sourdough or other crusty style bread. Leftovers from yesterday are fine. You will also need eggs, cream, milk, vanilla extract salt, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter.
Begin preparation the night before so the bread can soak up the egg mixture. Melt one cube of butter in the bottom of a cake pan. Tear the loaf of bread into small chunks and place in the pan. Mix 1.5 cups cream, 2 cups milk, ½ cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 8-10 eggs until a uniform color. Pour the egg mixture over the bread and allow to refrigerate overnight if possible.
You can also prepare the cinnamon crumb topping ahead of time and store in a Ziploc bag overnight. Mix 1 teaspoon cinnamon with ½ cup butter, ¼ cup flour and ½ stick of butter. Use a pastry blender to create small pebbles and store until just before baking the casserole.
Sprinkle the topping over the casserole and bake 45 minutes to one hour in a preheated 350 degree oven. If you prefer the casserole to have the texture of bread pudding, remove it after 45 minutes. For a dryer texture, allow it to cook the full hour. For the really big family gathering, you can prepare 2 or more of these casseroles the night before and bake them all at the same time. It is certainly a better option than spending the hour or longer standing over a griddle and making individual toasts.
For the special stuffed variety, simply create your favorite grilled French toast recipe. Once the dipped bread is toasted on both sides, add your favorite filling. One tasty choice is the chocolate hazelnut spread (found next to the peanut butter). Others may choose a favorite jam or jelly for filling. Once the filling is in place, seal the edges of the two slices of bread and place in the oven to keep warm. The Monte Cristo sandwich is ham and cheese stuffed between two pieces of egg dipped bread and grilled.
French toast can be a fun breakfast. Choose the casserole type for a breakfast or brunch when you need to conserve some time for other tasks in the morning. Stuff like a sandwich for a special occasion and serve for breakfast, lunch or dinner. These dishes are an excellent way to get fussy eaters to try eggs for any meal.