I love a good french toast casserole. It’s a great dish to prepare the night before if you know you are having company early in the morning. I’ve made these casseroles on New Year’s Eve for breakfast after the all-night party, the night before for a Mother’s Day brunch, and just because Russell and I are craving it. Also note: great for getting ready the day of a wedding! My best friend offered the bridesmaids this while we all got ready – her grandma prepared it – and yum. Great memories of bonding on an already wondrous day. 🙂
I’ve made a few variations, using different breads and different ingredients, such as fruit jams, extracts, cream cheese, nuts, and powdered sugar. But this recipe is by far my favorite – it’s more of a traditional french toast, and it’s also a bit like bread pudding, which I love.
- 1 loaf of brioche bread
- 9 eggs (the brioche really soaks it up!)
- 1 1/2 cups of cold milk
- 1/2 cup of heavy cream (whipping cream)
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons of vanilla
- 1 stick of cold butter
- 1 cup of brown sugar (I used light)
- 1/2 cup of flour
- pinch of salt
- 9 by 13 baking dish
- Start by greasing your baking pan, then slicing your bread into thick pieces. You can also tear it into chunks – however you prefer your presentation.
- Mix together the eggs, milk, heavy cream, sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and the 2 tablespoons of vanilla until well-blended.
- One by one, dip your brioche slices into the egg mixture, then layer them in your baking dish, half-covering each slice. (My bread started to fall apart at this point, so I tore it up and ended up with a half sliced, half torn mixture. It tasted just as good).
- Continue until all of your bread is used. If you have leftover egg mixture, pour it overtop of the casserole.
- Cover with foil, and refrigerate overnight to let the bread really soak up the egg mixture and become flavorful. If you can’t do overnight, I’d try for at least two hours.
- To make the topping: mix the flour, brown sugar, leftover 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and pinch of salt in a bowl. Cut in the cold butter with a biscuit or pastry cutter, until the mixture is sandy. Store this in the fridge until ready to bake.
- When you are ready to bake your casserole, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Remove the foil from the casserole, and sprinkle on the topping before baking. Use as little or as much as you’d like!
- Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, bread pudding consistency. If you’d like your casserole to be crunchier, bake for 1 hour.
I serve this with syrup and fresh fruit as a side, but it would also be excellent with powdered sugar. It’s one of my favorite dishes because it’s tasty, quicker than making individual egg breakfasts, and also less expensive than other options. Enjoy!