Worth-the-Extra-Effort Baked French Toast

Confession: I'm not great at making French toast on the stovetop. I don't know if it's that I'm not using the right bread, not using the right recipe, or don't have the right temperature for the griddle. But that's okay because I much prefer baked French toast anyway. You put in all the effort the night before, and then in the morning you just have to stumble out of bed, preheat the oven, and make yourself some kind of caffeinated beverage while the oven does the rest.

A while back I shared an easy baked French toast recipe. This is the one to break out when you are feeling extravagant. It makes a whole lot, which is great because the leftovers are also delicious. If you want to go all out, this spinach and potato breakfast hash is great alongside it.

French Toast
1-2 tablespoons butter to grease pan
1 loaf crusty bread
8 large eggs
2 cups (16 oz) whole milk
1/2 cup (4 oz) heavy cream
1/2 cup (3.5 oz) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (4 oz) light brown sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract (yes, tablespoons is correct!)

1/2 cup (2 oz) flour
1/2 cup (4 oz) light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
approx. 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 stick (4 oz.) butter, cut into pieces

Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan with butter. Cut the bread into cubes (1" square or smaller) and place in the pan. Crack the eggs into a large bowl. Add milk, cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla and whisk everything together. Then pour it all over the bread. Cover the pan tightly (I use plastic wrap) and store in the fridge overnight.

Make the topping: Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a separate bowl Add the butter and use a pastry cutter to mix it all together until the mixture resembles fine pebbles. (Be careful at this stage; I once flung a large piece of butter out of the bowl and onto the kitchen floor while doing this.) Transfer mixture to a Ziploc bag and store in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Take the pan out of the fridge and sprinkle topping on evenly. Bake for 45-60 minutes. The shorter time gives you something that is very bread putting-esque in the middle, while the longer time gives a firmer, less squidgy texture.

Scoop individual servings onto plates and drizzle with syrup. (A little syrup goes a long way here.) I like to serve with some vegetarian sausage and fresh fruit.

Recipe source: The Pioneer Woman

16 thoughts on “Worth-the-Extra-Effort Baked French Toast”

  1. I was told the next Appetite post was due on Monday, but then I realized this recipe might be a good one if anyone is planning some kind of special breakfast/brunch for tomorrow, so I figured I'd share it with y'all now instead! I'm also kicking myself for not taking a photo of the whole finished thing in the pan. The topping is wonderfully crunchy, and the interior is fragrant and custard-y.

    Oh, and the original recipe says to top with butter and syrup, but I truly cannot imagine putting more butter on this.

    1. I always had a hard time making it on the griddle. But I do pretty well in a non-stick pan if I use brioche and cook it in bacon grease.

      This recipe looks worth a try!

  2. I was planning to make French Toast tomorrow morning, so now I'm rethinking my technique.

    1. Baking it means it's all ready at the same time, so you're not standing at the stove while everyone else is eating (or waiting impatiently for another piece)!

  3. Basically you’re making a richer -through more dairy fat- bread pudding. Delish, even if you’re forgoing the bourbon sauce because it’s not polite to drink your breakfast in Minnesota.

    Nevermind, you’ve mentioned this in the notes.

    1. Also, a once famous small house restaurant here in New Orleans made their bread pudding with Krispy Kreme donuts. Super duper extravagant.

  4. So, funny story, I was on a Costco re-upping trip, trying to get through the aisles quickly, and I happen to see a bottle of this on clearance. I thought, ooo, fancy syrup, Jane and the kids are always eating pancakes and waffles and such, so I scooped it up. It wasn't until after I got home that I took a closer look at it. Gonna have to find another purpose for it I guess.

    1. The elegant packaging of this unique syrup is designed to reflect the superb quality of the product within, described in The Wall Street Journal as “soul-stirring”.

    2. Oh, my.

      Yes, yes you will. Unless you want to edumacate your kids on bourbon already.

    3. We ended up finding one quick, decent use for it: the manufacturer suggested adding it to your coffee as a sweetener. Gotta admit, it was pretty tasty.

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