Baked French Toast Casserole
This is something that has traveled through my family for generation and something that I have been making for a couple years now. It's painfully easy.. in reality not much harder than making actual french toast in the pan.
Now, I generally "Eye Ball" all these ingredients because I have been making it so long but I came across these measurements on the internet and they seem about right.
1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounce size) **
8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half **
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 dash salt
** Instead of French bread we've also used a Bagel/French Bread combination in the past and it came out quite good. Also its best if the bread is slightly 'stale' as it tends to soak up the mixture better.
** Also, instead of Half and Half I have also used Eggnogg (cup of Half/Half and cup of Eggnog) which makes it a touch more Christmasy-- if you like eggnog.
Generously butter a 9x13 (or comparable) baking dish and then begin to cut your French bread into slices into about about 1 inch (2.5 Centimeters) pieces. Lay each of your pieces into the baking disk over lapping them like toppled Dominios.
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a whisk until blended nicely-- but try to keep the mixture from getting too bubbly.
Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered well with mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices if needed.
Cover with Plastic Wrap or Tin Foil and Refrigerate overnight. (10 to 12 hours or more is a good time frame.)
The next morning, preheat oven to 350F (or 167C) and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup
That is the basic plan for "Baked French Toast Casserole" but like anything you can always add and subtract little things to your liking-- we've added everything from Walnuts to Raisins to the recipe and each time it comes out good.
I normally only make it twice a year, a small one for the girl and me on Black Friday morning (it helps get her out of bed) and a big one for the Family Breakfast on Christmas Morning if we are/have Guests.
Preparation time for the whole thing shouldn't take any longer than a half hour so its something to can whip up quick the night before and then have a delicious hot breakfast quick and easy in the morning.
"I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys." ~Charles Dickens