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I love French Toast. I would say that it is my top breakfast (or breakfast for dinner :)) treat. But it is also a time-consuming and laborious meal to make and so we just have it on Saturday mornings or mornings where we do have time to devote to breakfast. But that is certainly a rare occasion.
So I wanted to find out if there was a way to create french toast in the oven and experimented with a few things, and as such we have a Baked French Toast Casserole that we make! It is probably still the most labor-intensive breakfast we make on a “non-devote time to breakfast” day, but it is far less time than making it the classic way.
This can also be prepared the night before and stored in the fridge to make it quicker in the morning – or at the very least, have the bread cut up. That is what takes the most time.
One thing that I love about this breakfast is that it is my go to breakfast when we need to use a loaf of bread, or if you picked up some very inexpensively from the bread warehouse.
For example, the sample one I am showing was made with a loaf of Wonder Texas Toast that I picked up for .90 at the bread thrift store and it was only 1-day old. That just shows the value in the bread thrift store.
You can honestly use any bread in this breakfast. In fact, the heartier the better as you can dress it up to encourage those kiddos to eat it! Whole wheat, whole grain or any hearty bread works well. You may find you might need to slightly increase the egg content if you have a very dense bread. White breads are more spongy and not as dense and so they soak up the eggs well. A more dense bread might need a bit more liquid to soak them.
Also, as far as toppings, I actually often don’t put anything additional on it, but if we do (like if we have a heartier bread and the kids complain about the too healthy taste) then I like to use honey, agave, or even Maple Grove Farms sugar-free syrup that is sold for around $1.75 a bottle at Walmart. You can top it with anything that you would normally top your french toast with, or just leave it like it is!
It is similar to the Ducth Puff as it is filled with eggs and milk, but it is also different enough that it is it’s own too! It actually does “puff” up a bit when baking and it is a great breakfast to serve when you have guests as well as a handful of simple ingredients that most everyone has on hand all of the time can make a very filling breakfast for all.
Here is one version and what the finished product looks like. This one is made with the .90 loaf of Wonder Texas Toast (the thick bread!).
It is also quite frugal. For example, 1 cup of milk in this dish for 8-10 people, vs. 1 cup of milk in 8-10 bowls of cereal is just a massive savings alone! Don’t forget that when you find a good deal on eggs, you can freeze those eggs! That makes eggs even cheaper. But you can often find eggs for around $1 a dozen on sale frequently and you can make up to 3 of these batches with 1 dozen eggs. Finally, use your bread that you need to find a way to eat fast or buy the day old breads or fresh from the bread store as it is a cheap way to go.
Finally, the actual hand’s on time in preparing this dish is around 15 minutes. Then just pop it in the oven for the specified time and it is good to go. If you have busy mornings, as soon as you get up, run to the kitchen and spend 15 minutes throwing this together and stick it in the oven so that it will be ready in about 50 minutes and then it is ready to eat. Like I mentioned about, you can prepare the whole thing and let it soak overnight, or at least just cut up the bread the night before to help eliminate some of that time in the kitchen in the morning.
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|Baked French Toast Casserole|| |
- 8-10 eggs (depending on denseness of the bread)
- 3 cups milk (any type)
- 3 tsp. of vanilla extract
- 1 1-lb loaf of bread cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 TBSP of Butter (Real is Best)
- 2 TBSP of sugar
- 2 tsp. of cinnamon
- Place your cut up cubes of bread into a greased 9x13 baking/casserole dish.
- In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla.
- Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread in the dish. If you need to move the bread around to get the egg mixture on each piece.
- Let it set for 10 minutes.
- In the mean time, make your topping by mixing the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkling evenly over the top of the bread/egg mixture.
- Then melt the butter and spoon it evenly over the tops of the casserole.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-55 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
- Serve and top with your favorite toppings for french toast if desired, or eat as it is!
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