French Toast Casserole

FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE

INGREDIENTS

1 large loaf good-quality French loaf, sourdough, ciabatta, or challah (enough to yield 10 cups of chunks of bread) 
5 large eggs 
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar 
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt 
Zest from one medium orange (optional) 
For the topping: 
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt 
Optional toppings for serving 
Dried cranberries 
Powdered sugar 
Maple syrup 

 

PROCESS 

Preheat the oven to 375 and place an oven rack in the center position 
Slice the bread into 1-inch slices and then cut them into 1-inch cubes. You can also tear the bread apart with your hands and leave the crusts on
Layer the bread in a baking dish: lightly grease a 2-quart (if you want thicker slices) or a 3-quart baking dish (if you want thinner slices) with cooking spray or butter
Add enough bread cubes to cover the bottom and continue layering the bread chunks
Prepare and add the custard: In a small bowl, whisk the eggs together
Add the milk, sugar, orange zest, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and salt and mix well
Pour the egg and milk mixture evenly over all the bread chunks
At this point, the casserole can be baked right away, or covered and refrigerated overnight
Drizzle with topping
In another bowl, mix the melted butter with the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch of salt
Using a spoon, drizzle the mixture evenly over all the bread chunks 
Bake the casserole for 35 to 45 minutes 
Leave the casserole in the oven longer if you want the chunks of bread on the top to be more brown and crunchier
Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes before serving
Sprinkle dried cranberries and dust powdered sugar on top, if you like
Serve with maple syrup at the table
 
Recipe Adapted From: Simple Recipes
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