Thursday, April 14, 2011

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Baked French Toast

Baked French Toast
I was good on my word and made the Baked French Toast I said I wanted to make on my birthday. Before making it, however, I met up with a friend who told me she made something similar and the one thing that turned her off was the sogginess. I didn't want soggy either so I tried to make a few changes to the recipe I found. Despite the changes, my Baked French Toast still came out partially soggy. The top half of the casserole was perfect and exactly what I wanted out of the casserole: crispy, sweet, and just as you would expect baked French toast to come out. The bottom half of the casserole was not soggy per se, but it was more like a bread pudding in consistency. So I guess you get the right balance of crunchy and soggy. One person even described it as a cross between an elephant ear and French toast.
Baked French Toast

Baked French Toast
Source: Adapted from Ezra Pound Cake
Serves 6-8

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp firmly packed light brown sugar
1 loaf sourdough bread, sliced 1 1/2 inches thick
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray.

In a small sauce pan melt together the butter and brown sugar over low heat. Pour mixture into casserole dish and spread evenly over the bottom.

Arrange the bread slices in the dish, overlapping if needed. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Pour the mixture over the bread, and let it soak in.

Top the bread slices evenly with the pecans.

Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 3 to 12 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In the meantime, take the casserole out of the refrigerator, and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Bake the casserole until it’s browned and set, 30 to 40 minutes. Let it cool slightly on a wire rack. Sift confectioners’ sugar over the casserole, and serve it with your favorite sauce or syrup.

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