…I write two blogposts in one week, the highlight of my Friday night is seeing a sappy Julia Roberts movie (Eat, Pray, Love–do yourself a favor and read the book instead) and I write two blogposts in one week. Wait, did I already say that? This weekend I didn’t know what to do with myself except bake. And write about it. Standard.
I was actually home this weekend (shockingly) and so I decided to participate in one of my favorite activities (and meals)–brunch. I woke up to a loaf of leftover challah bread from Rosh Hashanah just calling my name to make french toast. But let’s be honest, when do I ever just make french toast? I knew I wanted to try out baked french toast since I never have before, but I ran into a small problem. Every recipe I encountered said I had to let the bread soak overnight. But I don’t take no for an answer, so I decided to do things my own way.
Cinnamon Bun Baked French Toast
I read a few recipes and kind of created my own. Measurements aren’t exact so take your own creative liberties.
- A bit less than 1 loaf challah bread
- 6 tbsp softened butter or margarine
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4-1/2 cup finely chopped walnut
- Maple syrup to drizzle (about 1/4 cup)
- 6 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
1. Mix together eggs, milk, vanilla, granulated sugar and a dash of salt. Soak sliced challah in the mixture, making sure mixture evenly coats the bread (this will probably require a few bowls or shallow dishes).
2. Let the mixture soak in while you’re putting together the rest of the dish. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
3. Mix together butter, brown sugar and nuts (amount can vary on how much you like nuts). Spray 9 x 13 pan, and sprinkle small pieces of the mixture along the bottom of the pan.
4. Drizzle maple syrup lightly over the mixture in the pan–feel free to use whatever kind you have in the house.
5. Place soaked bread into pan. If the pieces don’t fit perfectly, you can just smush them together (yes, that is a technical cooking term) because the bread should be pretty soggy at this point. It’s okay if some of the bread is crusty–that’s actually the best part when the french toast is baked.
6. Bake for about 50 minutes or until bread is dry and has a golden color on top. Let cool for a few minutes and then serve immediately. Be sure to turn slices upside down, or actually right side up, when serving so that the sweet, nutty part is on top.
Top with powdered sugar or fresh jam if you like, but this french toast is really flavorful enough to enjoy alone…I mean alone like without any condiments, but don’t eat it alone because there’s like a lot of it. Serves 6. Or 4 if you eat a lot like me.