For me, french toast has always been a royal treat in terms of breakfast food. I think the only time I ever ate french toast while growing up was at a restaurant, and why is that? French toast is actually a fairly easy meal to make, and oh-so delicious. Now that I have my own kitchen, I have made it more often. Happily, I have even branched out and found some glorious alternatives!
This casserole is a fantastic alternative to your everyday piece of french toast. It goes together quickly and easily and saves you from having to stand in front of the stove watching over each slice of bread as it cooks. Be prepared to have a very happy house when you serve up this delectable treat.
Warning: this casserole may be hazardous to your health: You may be tempted to nibble and eat it for every meal until it is completely gone.
This dish is beyond convenient and you are likely to have most, if not all, of the ingredients already on hand in your kitchen.
French Toast Casserole
- 3/4 loaf of bread
- 8 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use the stick of butter to grease a 9×13 baking dish, cut that same stick of butter into cubes. Tear the bread into pieces and place in your baking dish. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread, and let it soak into the bread. In another bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture is combined and sandy. Sprinkle the topping over the bread mixture. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Allow the casserole to set for 10-15 minutes before cutting. Serve with butter, syrup, and powdered sugar if desired.
Here are the cast of characters for the first part of our french toast casserole: A while ago, I was given this loaf of bread that was close to expiring, at the time I had no need for it so I simply tossed the loaf into the freezer to use another day. Well, that day has come!
Start by buttering your baking dish. To make life easier, I just used the same stick of butter that I was going to cut up for the crumb topping. Remember to put it back in the refrigerator; you want it to be nice and cold for later.
Now, tear your bread into bite sized pieces and pack them into the baking dish. I was originally going to use the whole loaf of bread, but I found that the pan was very full 3/4 of the way through the loaf. My best guess is that I tore apart 16 oz of bread total.
Pour the egg mixture over the bread. Try to spread the eggs evenly over the entire baking dish so the mixture is absorbed evenly into the bread. One of the great things about this casserole is that you can switch up what type of bread you use: white, wheat, potato, challeh… donuts?
Stir together your flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg into a bowl. Then use a pastry blender to cut in your cubed butter until the mixture is combined and sandy. It took me a good long while until I was satisfied with the look of my topping, but you may not be as picky as I am… and you may have a better pastry blender than I do. Can you see where I bent the prongs? Sometimes I can’t control my strength.
Sprinkle the crumb topping to evenly cover the bread mixture. Now, it is time to pop this beauty into the oven at 350 for at least 45 minutes. Because your oven may differ than mine, I suggest checking your casserole at 45 minutes and then gauging how much extra time your casserole needs from that point. If you want your french toast casserole to be wet like bread pudding, then you will want to take it out close to the 45-55 minute range. If you want a firmer, drier casserole, which is what I was aiming for, you will want to continue baking it for a total of 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. But make sure to check it every so often, you don’t want it to burn.
Look how much it puffed up while baking! A word of advice: place a large baking sheet on the rack below this casserole, or else you may end up cleaning burnt sugar drippings off of the bottom of your oven. Lesson learned. Let this dish sit for at least 10 to 15 minutes before cutting into serving pieces. The casserole will ‘deflate’ as it cools. If you cut it too soon you will end up smooshing it and it won’t look very attractive for your blog photos. Once again, lesson learned.
This is not the most beautiful photo that could represent this delicious casserole, but it still makes my mouth water. I topped my portion with a dab of butter, maple syrup, and a sprinkle of powdered sugar, then I nearly died from the sugar high that followed. The casserole is sweet by itself, so make sure to taste test before adding any additional sweet toppings. This casserole is easy yet it feels like a treat! I served this dish with a fruit salad that is tasty and easy to throw together. It feels like cheating (okay, it probably is cheating).
If you try this casserole please let me know in the comments down below. I am excited to hear how other people experience this scrumptious dish!