Yields: 6-8 servings Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 1 hour (plus overnight soaking)
A simple dish that can easily be prepared the night before, this baked French toast offers a healthful alternative to white bread with sprouted or whole grain bread. Additionally, it is high in protein from eggs, milk and oatmeal, and is a hearty breakfast for anyone.
For the French toast:
8-10 slices whole grain or sprouted bread, torn into pieces (can be gluten free)
1 1/4 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons half and half (or just whole milk if desired)
4 tablespoons and 1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the topping:
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1. Gently tear slices of bread into even pieces, about an inch in size, and set aside.
2. In a 9 X 13 glass pan, combine 4 tablespoons melted butter and 2 tablespoons brown sugar on the bottom and spread evenly. Place the torn pieces of bread in the pan, covering the bottom.
(one of the first photo shoots, using a 9 x 13 glass dish)
(also one of the first photo shoots, using whole grain - not gluten free - bread)
3. In a separate bowl, combine milk, cream, eggs, vanilla, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, oats and walnuts (if using). Whisk until blended.
4. Pour egg and milk mixture evenly over bread.
5. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour, or overnight.
6. Remove from refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. For the topping, mix the remaining 1 tablespoon of melted butter and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Using a brush or spoon, lightly coat the top of bread mixture.
8. Bake at 350 degrees from 35-45 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes before serving. This baked French toast is delicious with or without maple syrup!
One of my favorite make ahead recipes, this French toast comes together in about 15 minutes and time does the rest of the work. My kind of recipe!
I love this recipe for a holiday morning, especially for our family on Christmas or Easter morning. It’s one of those things that I don’t want to leave the festivities in the morning when everyone is all excited. Being able to pop (yes, I pop) into the kitchen and stick this into the oven is wonderful.
Plus, as a bonus, I’ve tried to do my thing boosting the nutritional value from traditional baked French toast by swapping out plain white bread for whole grain or sprouted. Additionally, bringing in oats not only adds extra fiber and iron, but great texture as well.
While we don’t drink a lot of milk in our house, I do keep whole milk around for cooking (and the occasional glass of chocolate milk). We use organic whole milk, as it has been noted to have healthy omega 3 fats. Additionally, while loads of saturated fat is certainly not ideal, having a small amount of whole milk helps satiate the body longer, therefore consuming less overall.
You could easily keep to the whole milk, and not add half and half. Like I said, I like to keep the richness of the baked French toast for holidays, so I prefer the bit of heavier dairy. However, replacing the cream with whole milk would work just fine. When I make this on the weekends, I don't use cream.
Back to the French toast…we don’t use much syrup, as there is so much goodness and flavor baked right in. However, a little drizzle of pure maple syrup adds a bit of extra yumminess!
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