Overnight French Toast
If you have a crowd for breakfast, overnight French toast is a winning idea. Instead of standing over the stove, cooking slice after slice, it bakes in the oven and emerges puffed and golden and ready for a big glug of maple syrup. Try making it with a stale loaf that you forgot to eat amid all the other holiday goodies. A fat brioche, fruit-filled panettone or a braided challah all work well. Stay away from croissants, though: Their chewy interiors are best enjoyed fresh.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 2tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for baking dish
- 1pound enriched bread, such as brioche, challah or panettone sliced 3/4-inch thick
- ¼cup golden raisins (optional)
- 6large eggs
- 2 ½cups whole milk
- ½cup heavy cream
- ⅓cup light brown sugar
- ½teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
- ½teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅓cup pecans, chopped (optional)
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)
- Maple syrup, for serving
Step 1Butter a 2-quart baking dish. Butter the front sides of the slices of bread and shingle the slices upright in the dish, overlapping as necessary. Nestle the raisins evenly between the slices of bread but not on top.
Step 2In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salt until well combined. Pour the milk mixture over the bread and press the bread gently to absorb. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Step 3Heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap. Sprinkle the pecans evenly over the top. Bake until puffed, golden and set in the center, 50 to 60 minutes. While baking, if the top begins to get too dark, tent with foil. Let stand 10 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve with maple syrup.