I don’t know about you but I love the idea of french toast you make the night before. I am not a morning person, so the less I have to do and still have a hot breakfast, the better. I love french toast but I can’t say I have ever wanted to get up in the morning to make it, so a “make the night” before casserole is very appealing. Just get up in the morning and put the casserole in the oven and in less than a hour you have breakfast!
In the past I have a tried a couple french toast casserole recipes and they turned out good. But I was not happy that they came out soggy in the center. Soggy eggy bread is not my favorite.
Anyway for Mother’s day this year I was searching for a recipe to make my mom for breakfast. She has a sweet tooth so I was looking for something to satisfy that. I also had a ton of leftover gigantic buns from a recent BBQ. I did some research and found a few french toast casserole recipes calling for leftover bread. I found some others with a yummy sounding cinnamon topping. Anyway after looking at them I decided I would combine a few and make some changes.
One thing all the recipes I found called for cream, which I have personally have never cooked with. I just can’t bring myself to using that much fat. So to make the recipe slightly healthier I submitted cream for skim milk and replaced half the eggs with egg substitute. However, I didn’t skip on the sugar and butter for the topping. I also learned from a previous recipe, I had tried before, is that when doing a over-night casserole, soak the bread in the egg/milk mixture in one container and transfer the casserole to a new one in the morning to bake in. This avoids any scrabbled eggs from forming around the bread. The final step I found was the key to avoiding a soggy center was baking the casserole on a large surface pan like a jelly roll pan or a cookie sheet with lip instead of a 9 x 13 baking pan. The large suface pan allows the bread pieces to spread out and brown up nicely. You should have no soggy bread!
Un-Soggy Overnight French Toast
- 8 cups bread (use what you have), cut into 1 inch cubes
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup egg substitute
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
The night before
Use a serrated kine to cube the bread into one inch pieces and put in large dish with lid (I use a 13″ x 9″ pan with a lid). In a batter bowl or bowl with spout, beat egg substitute, eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt. Slowly pour liquid over the bread, try to saturate each piece. Then lightly smash the bread down so the air is removed and the liquid really covers the bread. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
In the morning
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large surface pan like a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with a lip (I use a 19″x 12″ cookie sheet with a 1/2″ lip). Take the soaked bread out the fridge. Transfer the bread to the jelly roll pan or cookie sheet and try to leave any access liquid behind (I use a slotted spoon to transfer the bread and hold the bread over the pan to let some of liquid run off before putting it on the large surface pan). Spread the bread cubes so they cover the pan.
To make the topping
Melt the butter in a glass measuring cup in the microwave. Stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Slowly drizzle the liquid over the top of the bread cubes.
Bake for 30-35 minutes till browned (I check one of the bread cubes by opening it up slightly to make sure it is not gooey inside).
Serve with maple syrup.