This past Thursday, I was having a crew of about 12 in my house in the early hours of the morning. I couldn’t brag about my baking without offering them a sample to back it up. I wanted something warm that I could make ahead. I lucked out when I found this baked french toast recipe by the Pioneer Women. Just the fact that the word pioneer was in the title inspired confidence in me! I’m silly like that! This crew was about to become my unsuspecting group of guinea pigs. I followed the recipe exactly. The smells from my oven were encouraging even when some of the batter overflowed and began to smoke. Well, the Pioneer Women came through for me. The compliments were flying and there was but a single small square left for my husband to try. Try it and then you can brag too!
BAKED FRENCH TOAST
1 loaf (less 4 slices) of Villagio white bread
8 eggs, 2 c milk, 1/2 c heavy cream, 2 T vanilla, 1 c sugar
Grease 9 x 13 pan. Cube bread into bite-sized pieces and arrange evenly in pan. In a large bowl, mix together other ingredients until well blended. Pour over bread making sure that all bread is well covered. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
Topping: 1/2 c flour, 1/2 c brown sugar, 1/2 t cinnamon, 1/4 t salt, 1/2 c cold butter cut into pieces
Using a pastry blender, cut butter into dry ingredients until the butter is like fine pebbles. Store in a bag in the fridge. In the morning, evenly distribute the topping over the top of the bread. Bake for one hour at 350 (with a cookie sheet underneath). Immediately after removing from the oven, drizzle with maple syrup. Serve warm.