Saturday, June 24, 2006

Baked French Toast Casserole

Baked French Toast

1 loaf good quality day-old bread cut in 1-inch slices
3 cups whole milk
3 eggs
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Your choice of flavorings: a couple generous tablespoons worth if you're using a liquor, or teaspoons if you're using a good quality Vanilla (I like Watkins or Shanks brand flavorings).

1. Generously grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with salted (my choice) or unsalted butter.
2. Arrange bread in two tightly-packed layers in the pan. I always cut one slice into smaller pieces to fill in gaps. If using a thinner-sliced bread, you might wish for more layers, though I find that over three, even baking can be difficult. If you are using any fillings of fruit or nuts, this is the time to get them between the layers or sprinkled atop.
3. Whisk milk, eggs, sugar, salt and flavorings of your choice and pour over the bread. Sprinkle with cinnamon if you're using and sugar.
4. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The bread will absorb all of the milk custard while you sleep. Again, only soak overnight if you are using a thick sliced bakery bread, cheap, thinner sliced loaf bread will get too mushy. If using that type, let soak about 2-4 hours tops.
5. Bake at 425 for 30 minutes, or until puffed and golden. This will take longer if you have additional layers.
6. Cut into generous squares and serve with maple syrup, fresh fruit, powdered sugar or all of the above.

Easily cuts in half, as I do, and use a smaller deep casserole dish instead of the 13 x 9 pan.