It feels good to be savvy. And by “savvy” I mean, “Roll out of bed 6 minutes before guests arrive, throw on a cute apron, then lead them to believe French Toast Bake demanded 8 hours to prepare—instead of 8 minutes.”
Terrifically thick, cinnamon-infused, and almost custard-like, French Toast Bake flirts shamelessly with the line between classic French toast and decadent bread pudding. French Toast Bake is not sorry for this, and after one bite, you won’t mind its beguiling one bit.
Forget standing at the stove flipping individual French toast slices. Forget every other French toast bake you’ve ever tried. A French-toast fanatic, I have made and consumed dozens of recipes (including this Applesauce French Toast Bake), and while each has its merits, today’s recipe is stuff of which breakfast dreams are made: Ultimate breakfast luxury, for lazy oaf effort. Prepare to trick wow your guests.
Let’s talk about your and French Toast Bake’s time together. The night before you plan to inhale it (that’s where this relationship is headed), blend the custard, a quick mix of sneaky evaporated milk (no need for heavy cream), eggs, cinnamon, and pure maple syrup. Pour your brew over stacked slices of cinnamon bread, then pop it into the refrigerator to do its French-toast thang. Go out dancing ‘til dawn. Or call your grandma. Or iron your socks. The evening is yours. French Toast Bake will be far too preoccupied transforming itself into a 5-star breakfast dish to care how you spend your evening.
The next morning, roll out of bed, blindly throw the French Toast Bake—which will have completed its metamorphosis from bread-and-eggs to cinnamon custard of the gods—then return immediately to bed for some additional beauty sleep (not that you need it.) Wake up only to brew a pot of coffee and slap on some mascara 30 seconds before your friends ring the bell. They will enter just as you pull the French Toast Bake from the oven and, hello gorgeous Hostess with the Mostess!
How ever did you find time to do all this? You really are something else.
Don’t forget to check out the recipe for the Cinnamon Bread used for this French Toast Bake and enter to win a Platinum Giveaway from Red Star Yeast here!
French Toast Bake
- 1 full recipe Cinnamon Bread (2 loaves) sliced 1-inch thick (16 slices total. Challah, Brioche, or purchased cinnamon-swirl bread can be substituted as well)
- 7 large eggs
- 1 3/4 cups non-fat milk
- 1 3/4 cups non-fat evaporated milk
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Maple syrup for serving
- The Day Before Serving: Arrange the bread slices in two layers in a 9 x13 inch baking dish, cutting the bread as needed to fit the dish. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, non-fat milk, evaporated milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Pour the mixture over the bread and press the bread down lightly. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- The Next Day: Remove pan from oven. Place rack in center of oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover pan and gently lift flip over each “double stack” of bread, keeping each stack together. This will ensure the batter is evenly distributed as the French toast bakes.
- Place the baking dish inside a larger roasting pan. Being careful not to burn yourself, pull the oven shelf part way forward, set the pans on the extended oven shelf, then pour very hot tap water into the larger roasting pan until it comes about 1 inch up the side of the smaller baking dish. Cover the entire bake (both pans together) with aluminum foil, tenting it so the foil doesn't touch the bread. Cut two slashes in the foil to allow steam to escape. Slowly slide the rack back into the oven and close the oven door. Bake for 45 minutes, remove the aluminum foil, then bake for another 40 to 45 minutes, until the French toast puffs up and the custard is set. Remove pan from the oven and cool slightly.
- Slice into squares, and serve warm with maple syrup.
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