Monday, June 1, 2009

Baked French Toast

I don't usually post things I consider to be "meals" as this site is about desserts! However considering this "meal" was baked and contained copious amounts of fruit, butter, and sugar, I feel posting it is justified.

Mmmm baked french toast! Ok so it is a terrible picture. For some reason it was absurdly difficult to capture the texture of this item in the lighting the day provided me. But I digress. This sugar laden start to the morning was prepared as a send off to Favorite's parents. They had come to visit Saturday a little before noon, which started a 24 hour consumption-of-tasty-things fest. We first had turkey, bacon, and avocado sandwiches for lunch on Saturday. Then we went out for homemade ice cream that the candy house down the street makes. It was the perfect sunny, but not-too-hot day for ice cream. For dinner we had Grammy's recipe terriyaki chicken wings, baked beans (not homemade) and potato salad. Favorite then helped me make some cookies (these will be posted tomorrow!) and for dessert we had the cookies and a tasting sampler of beers including a number of Favorite's special homebrews.

After the cookies had been eaten (most of them anyway) and the beer had been drunk I prepared the french toast for the next morning. I used this recipe from with a couple little twists. I used a big fresh loaf of french bread that I had sliced into big fat texas-toast sized slices and had left them out for a day to dry a bit. I made the custard recipe as written and layered by bread in the pan, pouring the mix over the top. I then squished the bread down to sponge up the liquid, covered it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for the night. In the morning I put a good amount of berries in with the bread, pushing them down into the eggy mixture. I then topped the whole mess with the crumb mixture (I used pecans instead of the nuts suggested) and popped it into the oven before beginning preheat. This was really just to make sure that my cold glass dish wouldn't shatter. I know they are not supposed to, but it made me feel better. I definitely cooked the dish longer than the allotted 40 minutes as the berries exuded a lot of juice that I wanted to reduce so it wouldn't be mushy and gross. I put some maple syrup on the table with the french toast, but I also put down some fresh whipped cream and fresh berries. I don't really think the maple syrup got touched.

Although this was the first time I had made a dish like this, and although I had read mixed reviews about baked french toast recipes being too eggy, or two soggy, or generally not good, I thought this came out great. It also got rave reviews and the lasagna pan I used to make it was nearly empty by the time the four of us were done, so I think I am satisfied. If I made it again though, I would probably cook it for longer than 40 minutes even if I did not add berries (although why wouldn't you add berries? they were fabulous!) just to ensure the thick layers of eggy bread got cooked all the way through. Even with the extra cooking time the french toast was fluffy yet moist and spongy, definitely not dried out. I definitely recommend trying this. It would also be very tasty with small chopped apples in the mix.


  1. This was the best French Toast I have ever eaten. Very thick slices of bread, fresh berries, pecan topping, and fresh homemade whipped cream. My goodness it was amazing. I'm going to require regular doses of this Sunday morning masterpiece whenever blackberries and raspberries are in season...

  2. This was the best breakfast - sweet and savory. Hmmm...Tom has to make this one again for me so I can be as spoiled as Jay. (pam)