I love sleepy mornings and big breakfasts.
This recipe is based off of The Pioneer Woman's Baked French Toast. I found her recipe while hunting for a way to use up my few days old bread that I had made too much of before we
could eat it all.
I spiced it more and lightened it up a bit; more for the sake of saving ingredients than for making it low fat, but that is an added bonus so I don't have to feel too bad about feeding it to my family more often (sometimes once a week). It has quickly become one of our favorites. Now I find myself making extra bread so it has to be used up this way.
If you want to make something special for company I suggest using the original recipe, my version is not as decadently creamy, sweet, or buttery but good all the same.
The original recipe is a make the night ahead recipe that you can pop right in the oven. Most of the time I don't think ahead that far, but I have found that this cooks up perfectly even if I am procrastinator. So if your like me, just follow my directions at the bottom and make sure the bread and egg are mixed up gently and thoroughly and you will be fine.
If making this right away preheat oven to 350
For the french toast:
1 loaf french bread
2 1/2 cups whole milk (2% to make it even lighter)
1/2 C sugar
2 Tbs Vanilla Extract
~Butter a 12 in cast iron skillet or 9 x 13 pan
~Slice and rip french bread and place evenly in the pan
~Beat the eggs into a bowl and mix in, the sugar, milk and vanilla thoroughly.
~Pour this over your bread coating everything as best you can.
**If you are baking the french toast right away; Take a few minutes and gently flip the bread over bringing pieces that are on the bottom of the pan to the top so all of the pieces are evenly covered with the egg mixture. After they are coated well just level the bread with your spoon so the top is flat (without squishing) in the pan again.
** if baking in the morning, cover the pan and refrigerate it overnight.
~Set this aside and get ready to make the best part, the topping.
For the Crumb Topping:
1/2 all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger (optional for extra spice)
1/2 stick of butter cut into pieces
~In a new bowl mix all of the dry ingredients together.
~Add the cut up butter pieces.
~Cut these into the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
*This can be stored in a resealable bag in the fridge until baking time, or if your baking right away sprinkle it evenly right over the eggy bread. ~I like to lift a few pieces of the bread so some of the topping falls down under the top layer a little.
My kids love this part; they wash their hands and get right into it, and then I let them lick their fingers while our french toast is baking.
The last and final step is baking. It needs to go in at 350, for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on if you like a softer set or a firmer crispier bake.
I serve it with our homemade maple syrup (if we have it), butter, and frozen berries (if we have them) ~the cold of the berries on the hot french toast makes a delicious combination.
Oh and if you are making this for a crowd double this recipe, it goes fast!