I teased you with some beautiful French Toast a few weeks ago. As promised, here is the recipe.
This French Toast is baked in the oven and can be prepared ahead of time, easily put together the night before for an effortless breakfast the next morning.
Breakfast is my favourite meal, and we take time to put together big breakfasts on the weekend. Pancakes, bacon and eggs, waffles, French toast. Usually with home made hash brown potatoes on the side. And fruity smoothies to drink. All this is in stark contrast to the rushed and disconnected breakfasts that happen through the week. A quick bowl of cereal, find a missing textbook. Yogurt and a piece of fruit, pack lunches. A slice of toast, sign a form. A granola bar, feed the dogs. It's all rush, rush, rush. Ten minutes left... did you brush your teeth? What's going on with your hair? And where's the form I just signed??
I've made this French toast weekends and weekdays. It's a Pampered Chef recipe, from their Stoneware Sensations cookbook, which has a few of my other favourite recipes in it. It doesn't take long to put together. Pop it in the fridge overnight and you'll only need half an hour in the oven the next morning. Enough time to set the table and brew some fresh coffee.
The sliced strawberries are optional, but oh-so-good. As is the icing sugar. The maple syrup is a must. French toast and maple syrup go together like, well, French toast and maple syrup. Start with a loaf of French bread. Preferably not a fresh one. I love a fresh crusty loaf as much as the next person, but this is easier to work with if it's a day old. If you're using a skinnier baguette, slice diagonally for larger slices.
Gather your ingredients. The recipe calls for milk, but I had a some leftover cream so I used half cream and half milk. I have a great shaker which I like to use to mix up the ingredients, but it works just as well whisked up in a bowl. And yes, that's the milk...in a bag. Does anyone outside of Canada buy their milk in bags?
Arrange your bread slices in a single layer and pour all that goodness over them. I sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar before I put it in the oven.
It puffs up nicely in the oven. Light and fluffy, with a slightly dense, almost custard like centre. Just the way French toast should be.
Oven Baked French Toast
1 loaf (8 ounces) French bread
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
Cinnamon and sliced strawberries optional.
Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan. Cut bread into 1 inch thick slices and arrange closely in a single layer in the prepared pan. You may have to manipulate them to fit. Whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Sprinkle bread with cinnamon, if desired. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with toppings of your choosing.
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