October 5, 2012

Baked French Toast

Besides the standard of eggs, toast and hashbrowns, French Toast is second in line when it comes my favorite menu items when I'm out for breakfast. The first meal of the day has always been my favorite, and I enjoy making it as much as I do eating it. I think I get this from my mother; she is a pro at making breakfasts, and always talks about how her dream job would have been to open up a small restaurant that only serves brunch.  Her specialty is French Toast, so when I proposed we make baked French Toast one morning, she was on board to help me out.
The result? Gooey, moist, succulent French Toast that would be perfect for anytime of the year (although right now I think it goes perfect with this fall weather we're having). Topped with strawberries and maple syrup and a cup of coffee, I don't think you could make a better breakfast of restaurant-quality!

Baked French Toast

- 1 loaf Crusty Sourdough Or French Bread
- 8 whole Eggs
- 2 cups Whole Milk
- 1/2 cup Whipping (heavy) Cream
- 1/2 cups Sugar
- 1/4 cup Orange Juice
- 2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

Grease 9 x 13-inch baking pan with butter (or Pam). Tear bread into chunks (or cut into cubes) and evenly distribute in the pan.

Mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, orange juice and vanilla. Pour evenly over bread. Cover tightly and store in the fridge several hours or overnight.

When you're ready to bake the casserole, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove casserole from fridge and bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture. Bake 1 hour or more for a firmer, less liquid texture.

Scoop out individual portions. Top with butter and drizzle with maple syrup and fresh strawberries.

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