Sunday, June 19, 2011

Baked French Toast Casserole

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.

Cook's Note:  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 adapted from Paula Deen

French Toast Casserole
butter (for preparing baking dish)
1 loaf French bread
8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash salt
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 but not too bubbly. 


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)


and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden.


Serve with a dollop of butter (room temperature)

Praline Topping 
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup packed light brown sugar 
1 cup chopped pecans 
2 tablespoons light corn syrup 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon.


43 comments:

  1. Sounds like breakfast turned out great. I love baked french toast.

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  2. This sounds like a VERY special breakfast
    Mary

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  3. Thanks Mary & Mary! It was special and my husband and daughter loved it. It truly makes me happy to feed people. Feeding my family something they love is doubly pleasing to me. <3

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  4. What a fantastic breakfast!

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  5. Donna, thank you for stopping by my blog and for becoming a follower! This French toast casserole sounds divine!

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  6. Sounds so delicious, Donna! Hope you had a fabulous Father's Day with your family. :)

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  7. Hai Dear

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  8. I love french toast but this taking it to a whole new level!
    amazing!

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  9. Thank you Donna, for visiting my blog, and for becoming a follower! I've made something similar to this before, and it is delicious! I love oven french toast!

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  10. My husband loves french toast and I'm always looking for something different..Love it!

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  11. Cant wait to try this out with my family, we are all French Toast Lovers so should be a hit!!

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  12. Just made this......OH MY GOODNESS!!! It's like the BEST French toast. It reminds of a cinnamon bun, but EVEN BETTER!!!!! Thanks for sharing! Love, love, love this!

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  13. I made this for Christmas morning last year and the family loved it!

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  14. Rebekah ArmentroutOctober 13, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    I like the looks of the recipe, I am just wondering if you have any suggestions for a praline substitute? My little little girl has a nut allergy and cannot have any kind of tree nuts. I would love to make this without the praline topping but I don't want to mess up the recipe.

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    Replies
    1. You could leave out the nuts or completely omit the topping. This french toast casserole is perfect with fruit on top. Pie filling on top of served with fresh fruit. You could cook down some blueberries and add about 1/4 cup of sugar per pint and pour the blueberry sauce over top. There are so many possibilities. Let us know what you come up with!

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    2. What about oats (dry oatmeal)? Like a crisp topping.

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  15. we love it at the highrise i made it before cooked for 38 people

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  16. Made it last week and it was delicious!!!

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  17. I have made this dish for years, I use vanilla and cinnamon to enhance the flavor too, and of course top with real maple syrup!

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  18. Replies
    1. Hi Nazek!

      Half and half is a dairy product found in the USA. It is literally made up of half cream and half milk. Feel free to substitute accordingly OR substitute all cream for a VERY rich casserole or substitute all milk for a less rich casserole. If substituting all milk reduce the recipe by 1/2 cup milk. Enjoy!

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  19. This is delish I made it and it was yummy.

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  20. I tried it.. It smells wonderful but came out soggy.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear that Shannon. You may have benefited from a longer cook time and perhaps a more absorbent bread. If not, cut the milk by 1/2 cup next time.

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    2. I just tried this as well, had the same soggy issue. It's been in the oven now for over an hour :(

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    3. I made this and had to cook it a little longer. Then let it set for about 10 min. and it firmed up.
      It was so very good.

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  21. My friend made it for my bf and I , it was sooo good !

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  22. Love this made it back to back

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  23. Just made this! Everyone loved it

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  24. I too have made it several times...just this morning as a matter of fact. Kids love it

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  25. Good morning. Tried this with my family this morning and my husband loved it. I didn't have half-half so I used 1.5 cups of whole cream, omitted the praline topping and added 1/4 tsp of apple pie spice. Thanks for posting ideas for other topping substitutes as my daughter doesn't care for nuts either. Thanks for sharing!

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  26. I don't have light corn syrup will real maple syrup work in place of it?

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely. You could even omit it. Honestly the topping would be fabulous without it.

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  27. Taste ok if you leave out the nuts? Kids dont like nuts

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  28. Can I make it without the topping

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  29. This is identical to Paula Deen's casserole recipe...and it is DIVINE.

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  30. What about oats (dry oatmeal) instead of nuts? Like a crisp topping.

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  31. I made this version this morning..and it smelled awesome, looked great too...and I also made another version that had been posted around Christmas time. Smelled great and looked great, my problem is the sogginess of it. Did I do something wrong? I even cooked it a tad longer like I did with the other version. Or is this the expected outcome of it ? Any suggestions please email me, I would greatly appreciate it. ellen lanko(fb)

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    Replies
    1. It does come out kind of like bread pudding. You can cut down on the liquid by about 1/2 cup to reduce the wetness of the casserole.

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