Baked French Toast with Berries
Are you hyperventilating? We are. It’s under a week before the holidays and there is still so much to do. Every year it is the same. Why don’t I ever learn my lesson? I have a list longer than the State of Florida and only four days to do it in. Remind me of this moment next year. Please tell me not to make hostess gifts for everyone. Ask me to reconsider having Scarlett make ornaments as gifts from her to our family. And, for heaven’s sake, demand that I don’t make cookies for the teachers! Who in tarnation had that bright idea? Instead tell me to take it easy. Maybe recommend that I not take on more than I can chew. And strongly suggest that I start shopping in friggin JULY!
Thank goodness for this easy, make-ahead recipe. It’s the only thing I’ve got going for me. It’s ready as soon as you wake up–all you need is to pop it into the oven. If you’re feeding a crowd, then this dish is the difference between your sanity and having a break down at your father-in-law about why he has follow you around the kitchen (only a popsicle stick’s distance from you) while he recounts in glorious detail about his latest round of doctor’s appointments. Not that I know anything about that.
Photos by Maya Visnyei
- 1 loaf of fresh challah bread, sliced
- 8 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon butter, for greasing the casserole dish
- 1 cup fresh berries
- warm agave nectar or maple syrup
Slice your challah into 1-inch thick pieces. Without using the ends, arrange bread slices in a greased 9x13 inch casserole dish.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Pour mixture over bread slices being sure to coat each piece. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 350.
Remove dish from refrigerator and allow to stand for a few minutes.
Remove foil and place dish in the center of the oven to bake for 35-40 minutes, until bread is lightly browned and egg/milk mixutre between slices is bubbling.
Serve with your favorite fresh berries and warm agave nectar or maple syrup.
After arranging the bread in your casserole dish, try to pour the egg mixture between overlapping pieces of bread as to thoroughly coat each piece. Too much of a puddle in your dish can leave you with a soggy mess on the bottom.
You don’t even want to know the discussion that took place over who wore what pajamas for this shot. The girls were very serious about their wardrobe selection for this photo. It nearly broke the souls of the moms. I mean really? You have to discuss/fight/negotiate/pout over who wears what set of princess nighties! However, they completely redeemed themselves when they quietly worked on their placecards. Did you notice the placecards?
I’d like to be able to tell you this recipes sucked and therefore you shouldn’t make it, but that would be a total lie. It was awesome. The girls devoured it as well as the rest of us. It’s made ahead, it’s totally decadent nearly tasting like creme brulee and it’s super easy. We had to share it with you. Actually, consider it an early Christmas gift from SPC–a little something to make your holiday a bit easier. From our home, with love.
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