This recipe is an old family favorite that was originally shared with you almost 4 years ago. It is DEFINITELY a reader favorite. So we decided to share it with you again. We enjoy this breakfast every Christmas and it has truly become a tradition that we look forward to every year.
Father's Day is such a special day for us, well it is special to most people. But, I like to take the day to really celebrate my husband and what a wonderful father he is to our Munchkin, and what an amazing husband he is. We will spend the day taking part in our favorite family activities. So, I like to start off with a very special breakfast. By special, I mean out of the ordinary for us. We tend to have a very healthy breakfast each day and may go out on a limb with a pancake Sunday.
Well, I have been making Candied French Toast for special occasions for quite some time. Any kind of french toast is my husbands favorite. So for this special occasion, I decided to try this French Toast Casserole I have been drooling over for quite some time. I have to tell you it is so decadent, so flavorful, so divine.... There are barely words! The bread tastes like the most incredible bread pudding. The custard mixture bakes into the bread, and the topping is such a delightful treat. I will tell you that you can leave the maple syrup off this french toast. I think it would spoil the flavor. It is THAT good!!!
My daughter thought it was so good she still won't put down her fork.
Updated 5/10/14: We love this recipe so much we have made it countless times over the last 4 years. I have made some changes and added several notes to the bottom of the recipe. Be sure to check out the notes.
With love from our simple kitchen to yours.
RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM
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Recipe adapted from Paula Deen
French Toast Casserole
butter (for preparing baking dish)
1 loaf French bread
8 large eggs
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Praline Topping, recipe follows
Prepare 9x13 baking dish by generously buttering the entire dish. Set baking dish aside. Slice French bread, on the bias approximately 1-inch thick. Arrange slices in your prepared baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. Set dish aside.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Add half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and whisk until blended.
Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure they are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. I like to make sure all my slices are good and coated. Even dunking them in the mixture sometimes.
Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Scoop out praline topping and make 8 dollops of topping. Then spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread (like you are icing a cake).
Bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden.
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon.
COOK'S NOTES: We have been enjoying this recipe for 4 years. I have made a few changes. I have lowered the milk/cream that was originally called for, as the bread was sometimes coming out too moist for my taste.
Half and Half is a dairy product called for in the USA. You can substitute half cream and half milk for half and half. You can also use any combination of all cream to all milk as long as you are adding 2 cups total.
For the praline topping, the recipe used to include corn syrup. It really doesn't need it, so I have eliminated it.
This french toast casserole is amazing served with fresh berries instead of the praline topping if you are looking to lighten it up.
The left overs freeze VERY well! We eat about 1/4 of the pan. I freeze the left overs in 3 containers, so when we want a special breakfast I just thaw it and pop it in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes. Perfect.
Recipe developed by Donna Elick - The Slow Roasted Italian
Copyright ©2011 The Slow Roasted Italian – All rights reserved.
Originally published 06/19/2011