Wednesday, November 12, 2014

French Toast Bake

Another recipe for breakfast for a crowd is here again! I think this is the perfect time to give you all ideas on how to satisfy the breakfast cravings of your soon to be holiday guests. Holiday breakfasts are some of my favorite recipes. I just love how breakfast can be such a comfort food and what memories it brings back! Holiday breakfast is especially meaningful to me because every Christmas Eve morning just the immediate family gets together. Of course I love seeing all my uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents but there's something I just love about the small, intimate group of Christmas Eve morning.

For Christmas Eve morning, each of my sisters, myself and my parents prepare some sort of dish. Egg bakes are normally the hit of the table, but the spread also almost always includes fruit, monkey pull-apart bread, mimosas and a few desserts (because we don't get enough of those during the holidays). This year, I wanted to find a recipe that didn't fit the traditional ham and egg bake mold. So, off to search Pioneer Woman's website, because does Ree ever leave you disappointed? And then I found it!

This french toast bake is sweet and delicious. It closely resembles regular french toast but the nice thing about it is that you're not stuck in the kitchen flipping toast all morning. You can prepare it all the night before. The next day, all you do is pop it in the oven and voilĂ ! You have french toast for all to enjoy at the same time! Needless to say, I think this recipe will make it onto the Christmas Eve morning table.


Slightly adapted from Pioneer Woman

French Toast
1 loaf crusty french bread
8 eggs
2 c. milk
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 stick cold butter

1. Grease a 13x9 pan with butter.
2. Cut the french bread into cubes and add to pan.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs. Next, add the milk, cream, sugars, and vanilla extract. Pour over bread cubes.
4. Cover and place in refrigerator overnight. This step can be reduced or skipped all together.
5. For the topping, mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a bowl.
6. Cut the cold butter into small pieces and scatter into bowl. Using a fork or pastry cutter, work in the butter until the mixture resembles corse pebbles. This, too may be refrigerated in a bag or container. Makes things a bit easier the next morning :)
7. The next morning, or when you're all set to bake the dish, preheat oven to 350.
8. Sprinkle topping over the soaked bread.
9. Bake on the middle rack for 45-60minutes. 45 minutes will give you a nice bread pudding texture; 60 minutes will yield a crispy and firmer texture.
10. Enjoy with your favorite traditional french toast toppings: syrup, fruit, powdered sugar, etc!

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