Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Shocked in New Lenox, IL: French Toast that doesn't need Syrup

I am in love with French Toast. No really. I love it. Not only is it an avenue and vehicle for syrup, it's just good. I add vanilla and cinnamon to mine to make it even better.
We had invited Andy's brother and his wife for dinner on a day they couldn't come - the day they could come we'd planned on having breakfast for dinner. I felt I better beef that meal up since our simple egg scramble wasn't going to cut it for 4 adults and 2 hungry kids. We had an extra loaf of bread from Andy's camping trip with the guys. Baked french toast. I looked for a recipe that didn't need french bread and stumbled upon The Pioneer Woman's recipe - it had a streusel topping - sold.
Two nights before they were to come before bed I decided to cut up the bread so it would dry out some the next day before I put in the egg mixture. I turned the loaf over and it was covered in mold. I looked at Andy and we looked around. Oof... what to do? Aldi was closed, it was too late to run out to get more bread. Looked around, saw some hamburger buns, some hot dog buns, heals of bread, some old short loaves stuck behind that miraculously did not get moldy. I chopped those up into chunks, stuck them in a greased 9 x 13 pan and left the lid off for a day. Oddly some of those pieces of bread did not get stale - which makes me wonder what we are actually eating, but hey... whatever right? I poured over the egg mixture, let it sit overnight in the fridge. Also made the streusel topping. When we were ready to bake, tossed the topping on and stuck it in the oven.
See before? How I felt that french toast was a reason to eat syrup? This recipe needs no syrup. Yep -you heard it right from me. None. Sure I added some at first - but it doesn't really need it. Any leftovers I had were syrup-less and delicious.
This one I WILL be making again, and again, and again.

Baked French Toast
1 loaf Crusty Sourdough Or French Bread (or lots of random bread
8 whole Eggs
2 cups Milk
1/2 cup Whipping (heavy) Cream
3/4 cups Sugar
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
1/2 cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 pinch Nutmeg (optional)
1 stick Cold Butter, Cut Into Pieces
Fresh Fruit (optional)

Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with butter. Tear bread into chunks (or cut into cubes) and evenly distribute in the pan.
In a medium sized bowl mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover tightly and store in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add nutmeg if desired. Add butter pieces and cut them into the dry mixture until mixture resembles fine pebbles. Store in a Ziploc in the fridge.
When you're ready to bake the casserole, preheat oven to 350 F. Remove casserole from the fridge and sprinkle crumb mixture over the top. (If you're using fruit, sprinkle on before the crumb mixture.) Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture. Bake 1 hour or more for a firmer, less liquid texture.
Scoop out individual portions. Top with butter and drizzle with maple syrup.

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