Baked French Toast

Baked French Toast.  Sweet, crunchy streusel topping, custardy bread, and tart blueberries… yum!  I resolve to make more baked french toast this year!  

I know I’ve talked about my picky eater on the blog before.  On Christmas morning, when I pulled this out of the oven, my daughter asked what it was.  I said, “It’s baked french toast!  It’s so yummy!”  Well, she immediately claimed, “I don’t like that.”  Me?  Not surprised.  We all carried on eating, except for her of course.  When we were down to the last piece, I said to her, “This is almost gone.  You should try just one bite.  You’ll love it!”  I know full well that coaxing has no effect on her so I’m not really sure why, but she decided to try a bite.  Of course she realized how amazing it was and gobbled up a whole piece.  I knew she loved it when she asked for it again the next morning!   
I have to admit, I avoid making special breakfasts.  The mornings are hectic enough without adding a big pile of dishes to the mix.  That’s just another reason to love this recipe.  You prepare it the day before and it’s ready to pop into the oven in the morning.  The mess is already taken care of and you don’t have to plan extra time to make a special treat.  Aside from that, it really is the perfect mix of sweet from the topping and tart from the blueberries.  The bread is custardy and smooth, while the top gets a little crunchy.  I’m not sure anything could make this recipe better than it already is.  I hope you give it a try and enjoy it as much as we do.  

BAKED FRENCH TOAST

1 loaf of day old Italian or French bread
3 eggs
2 1/4 cups milk
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Streusel topping:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup frozen blueberries

Grease a 9×13 pan.  Slice loaf of bread into 1.5-inch thick slices and arrange them in the pan.  Whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.  Pour mixture over slices of bread, turn slices over to coat evenly.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Make the topping: in a small bowl cut together cold butter, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon using a pastry knife until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate, do not place the topping on the bread yet.

The next day, preheat the oven to 375°F.   Remove pan from refrigerator and flip each slice of bread over in the pan.  Sprinkle the blueberries on top of the bread.  Lastly, sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the top of the bread and blueberries.  Bake for 40 min or until lightly golden on top.  Serve warm.

*This recipe feeds 6-8 people.  If that’s too much, divide bread among two 8×8 pans.  Bake one.  Tightly wrap and freeze the other.

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