French Toast Casserole

This cross between French toast and bread pudding is a treat worthy of a special occasion, yet it's so easy to make kids can do many of the steps themselves: slicing the bread, chopping the nuts, whisking the eggs, and more. As a bonus, it can be assembled the night before, so there's no morning scramble or cleanup.

French Toast Casserole
French Toast Casserole

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

20

minutes

SERVINGS

6

servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

20

minutes

SERVINGS

6

servings

Ingredients

  • Ingredients

  • challah* or other firm white bread

  • 1/3

    cup pecans or walnuts

  • 1/2

    cup packed brown sugar

  • 1

    teaspoon cinnamon or to taste

  • 8

    large eggs

  • 1 3/4

    cups milk

  • 2

    teaspoons vanilla extract

  • maple syrup, for serving

Directions

Using a piece of waxed paper, generously grease a 13- by 9-inch glass baking dish with softened butter. Slice the challah into 12 (1-inch-thick) slices, then cut each slice into 1-inch cubes. Chop the nuts using a knife or a food chopper. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and chopped pecans or walnuts. Arrange half the bread in a single layer in the prepared dish, then sprinkle half the sugar mixture evenly over the top. Add a second layer with the remaining bread and the sugar mixture. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs. Add the milk and vanilla extract, whisking until well blended. Starting from the sides of the dish and working toward the center, pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread. With a spatula, gently press down on the bread to coat it with the egg mixture. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours. Heat the oven to 350°. Bake the casserole covered for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking until the casserole turns a light golden brown and looks slightly puffed, about 30 minutes more. Serve the casserole warm with maple syrup.*

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