Baked French Toast
My mom informed me today that I was in charge of planning Mother’s Day this coming Sunday. Now that I have two children of my own, I thought that this duty could be passed along to someone else, perhaps someone planning my Mother’s Day. Apparently it doesn’t work like that. She vaguely mentioned something about being Queen Mother and I’ll just have to wait my turn, so Mother’s Day breakfast is on. Good thing I like her a lot, and also like baking bread.
I’ve found brunch to be ideal for that Sunday morning celebration, but eating out is usually a busy affair in these parts. Baked French toast is now my answer to the “what are we going to serve?” question. It is put together in the evening, where the milk and eggs soak into the layers of challah overnight. The next morning it is baked, served warm, and gone within minutes. It also makes me look like I worked much harder than I did.
Baked French Toast
I followed the Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for Boozy French Toast, making only the slightest changes. I cut my Challah into slices earlier in the day, and let them sit on a wire rack for a few hours to help them dry out a bit before assembling the French toast. I found this helped the bottom layer not be too soggy. I added 1 teaspoon vanilla to the liquid mixture, and scattered 1 cup of raspberries in-between the layers of French toast before baking.
I found my Challah crust got a little too dark and crispy, but pulling it out of the oven early meant that the bottom layer of French toast was slightly under baked. To remedy that, I covered the French toast with foil and baked it for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. I then removed the foil, and finished baking for another 8-10 minutes until the French toast was puffed and golden.
You can follow the instructions for Six-Strand Braided Challah, or Three-Strand Braided Challah. Bake the bread as directed. When cool, cut the bread into about 1-inch pieces.
Layer the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with the challah. Scatter with raspberries, and then top with another layer of bread. Pour the liquid mixture over the top of the bread, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
Bake the French toast the next morning! Your mom will be so happy you did.
15 thoughts on “Baked French Toast”
Love the idea of baked french toast! I have previously followed your recipe for french toast, but I will try this one now too!
It will be a hit Sunday…
That looks so good, and haha – “it makes me look like I worked much harder than I did.” I love that!
I love your recipes! Just started to make them an love the simplicity and versatility of the doughs.
I made the olive oil dough and left it out accidentally for six hours. Can I still use it? It’s slightly warm here, ma
Oops! I was going to write maybe 23°C
And I was just wondering as I want to buy your healthy bread book, is there many strange ingredients that are hard to find? I live in Egypt, so it’s not always easy to find certain things.
Thanks a lot 🙂
Sure, see FAQs tab above and click on:
“Left the dough on the counter overnight! Can I still use it?”
Most of the recipes in “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day” call for a product called vital wheat gluten (on US Amazon: https://amzn.to/1H5fmpg). I don’t know where you’d get it in Egypt.
I just picked up your book the NEW artisan bread in 5 and made the master recipe. I found the bread to be super tough mainly the crust. Is that normal? I used king authur unbleached ap four plus the extra water suggested in the book made it yesterday and baked the first batch today? Anything I can do to make the crust less tough? Desperately looking to make good bread in the states!!!!
Did you create a steam environment? If so, which method did you use? How did you measure the flour?
Hi! Thanks for quick reply!!
I weighed the flour. I created steam by pouring water 1 cup onto a jelly roll pan. I also baked the bread on another jelly roll pan as I do not have a stone yet.
The crust isn’t supposed to be tough correct? Many commercial artisan breads I have tried in the US are tough also. I was worried that was desired effect!
Professionals make a distinction between tough and crisp.
1. “Tough” means dull-finished, hard, and thick. Not desirable.
2. “Crisp” means richly colored, firm, and thin. With perfect white bread, it “shatters” when you bite it.
If you handle the steam perfectly, and don’t let the crust dry out while the shaped bread’s resting, and you use white flour mostly, you can get #2. If you’re resting for longer than 40 min (and actually, given your taste, maybe do this regardless): cover the resting loaves loosely with plastic wrap or a roomy overturned bowl. Remove before baking.
Consider whether your oven isn’t trapping steam well and if not, consider using one of the “steam alternatives” to throwing water into the jelly roll pan that you’ll find on page 20-21.
I wonder if you’d prefer a soft crust– in which case, just brush the tops of loaves with oil or butter before baking. For maximally soft crust, brush it again as soon as it comes out of the oven.
THANK YOU!!! I am in search of #2 and most definitly produced #1. I appreciate the tip for soft crust if all else fails but now I know what to focus on. I will do as you suggest with the next loaf!
Hello again! Just wanted to give you an update. Baked another batch, longer rise and covered and baked with the loaf covered with a roomy metal bowl! HUGE improvement!!!! Not perfect mind you but definitely headed in the right direction! Embarrassed to say my husband and I have eaten the whole thing! Thank you! You have given me hope that I can make good bread!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!!
This is terrific, great to hear…