Monday, August 17, 2015

french toast casserole

I've been wanting to try my hand at making french toast casserole.  At my last job, it was a standard pot luck dish for birthdays and other celebrations. The person that made it always made a different flavor each time:  apple cinnamon, bananas foster, caramel apple, etc.  It was always delicious and looked easy to make, but I just never got around to it.  At my current job, one of my team members brings this dish in for birthdays also.  She makes the standard recipe, which is just as delicious.

Bob went camping this past weekend, so I figured that would be a good time to try it.  I decided I would assemble it Saturday night and then bake it Saturday morning, just in time for him to arrive home.

I had all the ingredients except the bread.  I had to go the store for the standard weekly groceries anyway, so I picked up some bread. The recipe calls for French bread, but, of course, the store hadn't baked it yet since I went shopping so early Saturday.  I grabbed Italian bread instead.  I figured the cheapest white bread would be too flimsy, and I didn't want to spend $3.99 a loaf for sturdier white bread.  The Italian bread was $1.79 and there was plenty of it.

I assembled it all Saturday before I left for bingo.  I was worried I wouldn't have enough of the egg mixture to cover it all, but it worked just fine.  It didn't take long to assemble and it was easy.  I'm guessing it took maybe 20 minutes to assemble. Then I covered it and stuck it in the fridge to mix and mingle.

Before refrigeration and baking.

I took it out of the fridge Sunday morning, uncovered it, preheated the oven to 350, and then baked it for 45 minutes. When Bob got home the house was filled with the aroma of cinnamon and brown sugar.  We couldn't wait to dig in!

When I sliced into it, the top layer was kind of crusty, which was nice, but the bottom was a bit soggy; that's what I was afraid of.  It was cooked, but I felt it could have been cooked more.  When my coworker makes it, it's never soggy on the bottom; however, she uses a different bread than I did. Maybe that's the difference. I'm thinking next time I will put about 1/3 of the egg mixture over the bottom layer and reserve the rest for the top layer, since the casserole is baked uncovered.  Or, I might cover and bake for 25 minutes and then finish it uncovered.

After baking.  Look at all that brown sugar!

The top layer is browned and nice and crusty.

We covered it with butter and syrup and then dug into it.  (I used sugar free syrup, of course; this recipe is already loaded with sugar and I didn't want to add even more.)  It was delicious!  Sweet and cinnamon-y, and the bottom edges were all crusty with caramelized brown sugar.

I would definitely make this again, although I might amend it as I mentioned above in order to avoid a soggy bottom.

French Toast Casserole
(I got the recipe here:  Perfect French Toast Casserole)


1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar, plus 2 TB for sprinkling
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 TB powdered sugar
2 tsp white sugar, for sprinkling
Cinnamon, for sprinkling
1 loaf French bread, sliced (I used a large Italian bread loaf)
Butter, for spreading


  1. Melt 1/4 cup butter and add 3/4 cup brown sugar; stir until mixed.
  2. Spread butter and brown sugar mixture into bottom of a 9x13 pan.
  3. Beat eggs, milk, vanilla and powdered sugar in a small mixing bowl.
  4. Lay down a layer of bread in bottom of pan.
  5. Ladle half of egg mixture over the bread layer.
  6. Sprinkle top with 2 tablespoons brown sugar and some cinnamon (as much as you want).
  7. Spread a thin layer of butter on one side of the bread for next layer.
  8. Lay the second layer of bread, butter side up, on top.
  9. Ladle the remaining egg mixture over the bread.
  10. Sprinkle the top with 2 teaspoons white sugar and more cinnamon.
  11. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  12. In the morning, remove from refrigerator, uncover, and bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 45 minutes.

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