Saturday, March 10, 2012

French Toast Casserole

I've been trying to add some variety to our Saturday morning breakfasts.  Grant was mildly resistant at first, since he would be perfectly happy having pancakes or waffles on Saturdays and eggs, bacon, and English muffin bread on Sundays for all eternity.
We're a bit opposite on some things.

Like cars and food.

If it were up to him, he'd get a different vehicle every year, just because there are so many out there that he likes.  As for me, I like to pick a vehicle and keep it forever.  At least until it's either completely broken or we've outgrown it. 

When it comes to food, he likes to have the old stand-by favorites and not worry about trying new things.  (not that he objects to the things I make, but if it were up to him, he'd never go to the trouble.)
I love to search out new recipes and not stick to the same routine every week. 
And many of the new things I make end up becoming family favorites. 

So when I mentioned that I was going to make a French Bread Casserole for our Saturday breakfast a couple of weeks ago, there weren't joyous exclamations of delight.  No complaints, mind you, but I could tell he was skeptical.

But after trying it, he was so glad that I had made it. We all thought it was just terrific.
In fact, I ended up making it again the next week, with homemade French bread that time.

I discovered that you can tinker with the amount of eggs and milk a little and not really notice the difference. 
The following is how I made it the first time; but the second time I only used 8 eggs and increased the milk to 2-1/2 cups, and it tasted nearly the same.
Just be sure to have enough cinnamon and brown sugar on top....when it gets a little browned and crispy, it's really good.

Recipe: Inspired by Examiner dot com

1 loaf French bread, cut into 1" cubes
1T. sugar mixed with 1 t. cinnamon and 1/4 t. nutmeg
2-1/4 c. milk
10 eggs
1 t. vanilla
4 t. sugar
1/4 t. salt
2 T. butter, cut into tiny squares
3 T. brown sugar
2 t. cinnamon

  • Place bread cubes in a greased 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon/sugar mixture and toss to distribute evenly.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt until well blended and frothy.
  • Pour over egg mixture over bread in baking dish. Gently toss to coat; make sure each bread cube is soaked with egg mixture.
  • Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking and dot the top of the French toast casserole with butter.
  • Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the top.
  • Cover with foil and bake at 350°F for 35 minutes
  • Remove the foil and let it bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
  • Let stand 5 minutes. Cut into squares to serve. Top with maple syrup, honey and/or fruit.
  • Yield: 8 to 9 squares

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