Oh boy is this french toast delicious! Yum!!! And easy. A great meal to pre-fix for a holiday gathering like Christmas or Easter or a brunch with friends.
Although it says it’s an “overnight” recipe, I actually made it the same morning
by soaking the slices of bread in the deep bowl in which I whisked the egg mixture. I put all of the slices into the bowl and every few minutes rearranged them so that all of the egg and milk mixture was soaked up. I also used thick slices of country-style oatmeal bread, rather than challah, although I’m sure that challah is even more delicious and would do a better job of the overnight soaking that the recipe counts on. When I put the slices into the baking pan, I poured a little more milk on top corners of the bread which weren’t quite “soaky” enough.
Another idea would be gluten-free bread.
Sigh. This recipe might actually work with gluten-free bread if you do the overnight version. Normally, french toast doesn’t go so well with GF bread. However, since the slices sit in the egg mixture overnight and you don’t handle them one single bit, they might not crumble into oblivion. This would be a major, deliriously delicious coup for me, since I LOVE french toast but really am literally happier when I don’t eat wheat. Well, afterwards. I’m seriously happy while I eat bread, pasta, pizza, etc. But not so much afterwards. What happens? I get cranky, slow, and I think it gives me headaches. If you try this recipe with GF bread, please let us know how it goes and what your recommendations are.
Remember, thick slices are your friend for this french toast recipe, at least if you’re doing the regular version!
- 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons) butter, melted
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 loaf brioche or challah (French toast can also be sliced 1 1/2 inches thick)
- 8 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cup pecans, measured then chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- (optional) maple syrup and powdered sugar for topping
- Do a dry-run of arranging the bread slices in the pan so that you know how they’re going to fit. Overlapping somewhat is ok.
- Melt butter in a small sauce or fry pan. Add brown sugar. Mix. Pour on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish or similar-size roasting pan which has a cover (this would be my preference). Spread evenly.
- Arrange slices of bread in the baking dish on top of the brown sugar mix.
- Combine milk, eggs, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a bowl and pour evenly over bread slices.
- Sprinkle chopped pecans over bread slices.
- Seal up the pan. Cover with a layer of parchment paper, then cover as tightly as possible with tin foil. Or, Wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Or cover with roasting pan cover.
- Refrigerate for 4-12 hours.
- In the morning, take the casserole out of the fridge for at least 10 minutes while you are preheating your oven to 350 degrees. When you’re ready to bake, remove any plastic wrap.
- Bake casserole covered for about 20 minutes. Remove tinfoil or cover. Bake another 10 to 15 minutes, keeping an eye on the bread. You want it to cook long enough to make sure the bottom part is cooked but don’t dry it out completely.
- Remove casserole from oven.
- Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar and a drizzle of maple syrup.
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