In our previous book, One Pan to Rule Them All, I joked about my childhood obsession with what a French toaster must look like. I’ll let that sink in for a moment … okay, onto the matter at hand. Delicately crispy, decadently unctuous, sweet, buttery, sinfully delicious. French toast, when expertly made, is outstanding. When made for a crowd, it can be a disaster. Splatters of blackened butter Jackson Pollocked across the kitchen wall, near-burned crust surrounding an eggy substance previously known as bread. Stop it. This casserole saves lives.
- Yield: 6 Servings
- Total Time: 2 Hour
- 5 eggs
- 2 cups half-and-half or milk
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup pure maple syrup or pancake syrup, divided, plus more for drizzling
- 5 cups (about 1 lb) crusty bread cut into
- 1 -inch pieces
- Whipped cream, berries, and additional syrup for serving
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half or milk, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. Smear butter across the bottom and sides of a baking dish. Pour ½ cup of the syrup in the baking dish. Evenly add bread pieces—be sure you have one even layer with a flat top (no bread hills).
- Slowly pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread mixture, being sure that some of the liquid reaches most, if not all, of the bread. Use the back of a wooden spoon, a clean hand, or spatula, to compress the whole mixture to ensure that the liquid is evenly distributed. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for at least 1 hour (or in the refrigerator overnight).
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove plastic wrap and drizzle the remaining syrup evenly across the top of the mixture. Bake for 30–35 minutes on the center rack of the oven, or until the top is beginning to brown and get crusty.
- Remove the casserole from the oven, scoop hot servings with an oversized spoon! Dress with whipped cream, berries, and/or maple syrup and enjoy!