According to the package of french bread I used, once baked, the bread would need to be eaten fairly soon before going bad. Well, with only Jordan and me eating, there was a lot of bread left over after our meal. What to dooooo, what to dooo??? Enter baked french toast.
It didn't take me long to decide which recipe I would use. The very first food blog I ever saw - the one that inspired me to write my own - was The Pioneer Woman. She has so many wonderful recipes, many of which I have tried, loved, and will blog about another day. Anyway, this is one of her recipes. Think about making this if you have any leftover bread...or buy some bread just to make it. : )
Cinnamon Baked French Toast
(This recipe is for a 9 x 13 pan. I halved the recipe to fit an 8 x 8 pan for us.)
1 loaf Crusty Sourdough Or French Bread
8 whole Eggs
2 cups Whole Milk
1/2 cup Whipping (heavy) Cream
3/4 cups Sugar
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces
Fresh fruit and chopped pecans (optional)
Grease 9x13 dish with butter. Tear bread into chunks and evenly distribute in dish.
Mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, 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 the oven to 350 degrees. Remove casserole from fridge and sprinkle the crumb mixture all over the top. (If you're using fruit, sprinkle on before crumb mixture). 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.