I love the convenience of a make-ahead breakfast. This baked French toast recipe is so easy to assemble the night before. Just stick it in the fridge overnight and move it to the oven when you get up in the morning. Presto! You've got a warm, freshly baked, totally delicious breakfast in no time. This makes a special weekend breakfast and has become a favorite option for overnight guests.
I developed this recipe as part of the Secret Recipe Club (SRC). Here's how it works. Each of the food bloggers participating in the SRC is secretly assigned another food blog. The assignment is to choose a recipe from that blog, make the recipe (or an adaptation of it) and feature it in a post. The blog matches are a secret to the other blogger until reveal day. You'll find links to the other participants and their recipes at the end of this post. Someone blogged about one of my recipes, too.
This month, my assignment was to choose a recipe by Jane from The Heritage Cook. Her recipe for Baked Blueberry French Toast caught my eye right away. I love that you make it the day before so it's ready to pop in the oven when you get up in the morning.
I love the simplicity of Jane's recipe and only made minor tweaks. I substituted whole grain bread for white and used 2% milk in place of whole milk. I also added a whole grain streusel topping for some extra crunch and flavor. It is so easy to make, and it totally passes the yummy test. So good!
Step 1. Assemble the ingredients: whole grain baguette (or similar bakery bread loaf), eggs, 2% milk, vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon blueberries (fresh or frozen), whole wheat pastry flour, old fashioned rolled oats, butter, pecans (optional)
view on Amazon: organic whole wheat pastry flour
Step 2. Whisk together the eggs, just until well combined.
Step 3. Add the vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, and milk. Whisk it until well combined.
Step 4. Slice the bread loaf in 1" slices. I cut mine diagonally to increase the surface area of each slice. I like to leave the crusts on, although Jane's recipe calls for cutting off the crusts.
Step 5. Layer the bread slices in 2 rows in a buttered 9x13 baking dish. If you're using a wider-shaped bread loaf, you may need to cut each slice in half in order to get it to fit into even rows.
Step 6. Pour the egg & milk mixture over the bread slices, separating the slices as you pour so the mixture runs between each slice. Don't worry if the slices aren't completely immersed; they will eventually soak up the custard mixture like sponges.
Step 7. If using frozen blueberries, thaw, rinse, and drain them. If using fresh berries, rinse and drain them. I used frozen blueberries, since fresh berries are out of season.
Step 8. Evenly sprinkle the blueberries onto the bread slices, separating the slices to allow some of the berries to fall between the slices.
Step 9. Cover with lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or as long as 18 hours. (LOVE the convenience of doing this so far in advance!)
MIX THE WHOLE GRAIN STREUSEL TOPPING
Step 10. Combine whole wheat pastry flour, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
Step 11. Add the butter and cut it into the dry mixture using two forks, a pastry blender, or your fingers. (Your fingers work easily for this small amount.) Keep mixing until it's crumbly.
Step 12. Add pecans, if you're a nut person. If not, leave them out.
Set the streusel aside to add right before baking. This can be made the night before so it's ready to add to the dish in the morning.
The next day...
After the overnight time in the fridge, the bread will have soaked up much of the custard liquid; although it's fine if there's still some liquid remaining in the bottom of the dish. It will cook in.
Step 13. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the top of the bread slices.
Step 14. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes until the streusel is lightly browned and there is no visible liquid left; the center should be moist, but not watery. If the streusel begins to brown too much before the custard is completely cooked, place a loose sheet of aluminum foil over the top during the last 10 minutes or so of baking. That browned streusel topping adds delicious crunch to this dish.
Remove from oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
The bread slices are softened, but not soggy, from the absorbed custard. They hold their shape, so it's easy to remove individual slices and serve.
It looks so inviting on the plate! The flavor & texture combination of custardy bread, blueberries, and crunchy streusel topping is fantastic.
Drizzle the French toast with maple syrup or blueberry sauce. My easy, 10-minute blueberry sauce recipe put's this French toast over the top.
One bite convinced me that this recipe is a keeper. It is perfect for a brunch or to serve overnight guests. And, it's so, so easy!
Make it a Yummy day!