My family celebrated my daughter’s 18th birthday this past weekend with a Sunday brunch. Eggs, Belgium waffles, bacon, and fruit lined the table, but the star of the show was this delicious French toast bake. I followed The Pioneer Woman’s recipe. I prepared it the night before and baked it in the morning before the guests arrived. I can’t even begin to describe the warm cinnamon smell that filled my house while this was baking. All I know is that I will be making this again for Easter morning breakfast!
For the French Toast:
1 loaf Crusty Sourdough Or French Bread
8 whole Eggs
2 cups Whole Milk
½ cup Whipping (heavy) Cream
¾ cups Sugar
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
For the Topping:
½ cup All-purpose Flour
½ cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon Salt
1 stick Cold Butter, Cut Into Pieces
Grease 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Tear bread into chunks (or cut into cubes) and evenly distribute in the pan. Whisk together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Pour evenly over bread. Cover tightly and store in the fridge several hours or overnight.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add butter pieces and cut into the dry mixture until mixture resembles fine pebbles. Store in a Ziploc in the fridge.
When you’re ready to bake the casserole, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove casserole from oven and sprinkle crumb mixture over the top. Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture. Bake 1 hour or more for a firmer, less liquid texture. (I found 1 hour was just perfect.)