Welp, the Christmas Tree is packed away, decorations are down, the Christmas music is over until next year, and the girls go back to school tomorrow. The days of staying up too late and sleeping in are in the past, and the countdown to summer has started.
Seriously, is it summer yet? I’m over the cold. It’s all fun and games until the Christmas decorations come down, and then it’s just cold. And cold without Christmas is no fun AT. ALL.
But – bright side here – we still have French Toast, amIright? And this? Baked, cinnamon, crunchy, sugary topping with some nuts sprinkled in french toast? Worth the cold. Worthitworthitworthit.
I love that this this recipe is SO easy. It’s best if you can prepare it the night before and bake it in the morning, but I’ve prepared it just a couple of hours early too, and it’s still great. Just make sure all of those bread crumbs soak up all of that custard and you’re in good shape.
We love walnuts sprinkled over the top of ours, and I maybe *might* just increase the topping by 50% because WHY NOT? It’s cold outside, might as well go for it.
And, you know when you go to the grocery store and you buy a big, beautiful loaf of bread with all of the great intentions to make a nice lasagna and salad, and serve with it with crusty garlic bread and then life happens and you get sidetracked and all of a sudden you have a big beautiful loaf of moldy bread in your pantry that’s never even been touched? *deep breath*
Yeah, me neither.
BUT, if you were the type of person (not me) that this happens to, you could totally switch gears, use your almost-old bread for this awesome casserole, and then be all like, “Yep, I meant to do that. I totally needed day-old bread for this awesome french toast casserole. Lasagna? What lasagna??”
Hope you love this as much as we do. Enjoy!
- 1 loaf day-old crusty bread (like French or Sourdough)
- 8 whole eggs
- 1 cup milk (I use 2%)
- 1 and ½ cups heavy cream
- ¾ cups sugar
- 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
- Butter and Maple Syrup, for serving
- Cut bread into small (about 1 inch) cubes.
- Prepare a 9x13 baking dish by coating generously with butter.
- Place bread cubes into the baking dish. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs.
- Add milk, heavy cream, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
- Pour the custard over the bread crumbs. Use your hands or a spoon to combine and coat each bread cube with the mixture.
- Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 but up to 24 hours.
- In a small bowl, combine butter, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.
- Use forks or a pastry cutter to combine until it forms a coarse (about pea-size) crumb.
- Cover the mixture and put it into the refrigerator until ready to use.
- When ready, preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
- Pour topping over the top of the french toast. If desired (I did) top with some chopped pecans or walnuts for an extra crunch.
- Bake for 35-50 minutes (ovens vary greatly) until desired consistency is reached - we like ours completely set up, and took it out of the oven at 40 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly, then serve warm with a generous pat of butter and maple syrup.