i recently made a whole wheat honey oat bread that i saw joy make a few months back. it was everything she had promised – nice and crunchy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, with the perfect balance of sweet and hearty. but despite the bread’s deliciousness, i still wound up with a bunch left over. i never really know what to do with leftover bread – i usually end up slicing it and using it for french toast, but that can get kind of boring.
one thing i had never made before was baked french toast. it’s pretty much the same thing as regular french toast, except instead of cooking the custard-soaked bread in a skillet on the stovetop, you put it into a baking dish and throw it in the oven. this method has one major advantage – it’s a huge time-saver. in addition to the fact that you don’t have to stand around individually cooking each slice of bread, you can also put it all together in a baking dish the night before you want to eat it, and then in the morning, all you have to do is throw it in the oven. it makes the entire process so much easier!
this particular version of baked french toast was really delicious, and it will definitely enter my regular leftover bread repertoire. the bread got nice and crispy on the top, but was fluffy and creamy underneath. the bread on its own was pretty sweet, so it worked perfectly that the recipe didn’t call for any added sugar – the natural sweetness of the bread shined through beautifully. and the almonds over the top added a great nutty crunch. served with a drizzle of maple syrup, this was a perfect way to start the day.
- a small loaf of whole wheat bread, preferably day-old
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup half-and-half
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- maple syrup, for serving
- cut the bread into cubes.
- in a large bowl, mix together the eggs, half-and-half, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. add the bread cubes and toss them around so that they are coated in the custard. pour everything into a baking dish (mine was about 7x9 inches - an 8x8 pan would work well too). cover the dish with plastic and refrigerate it overnight, or at least a few hours.
- when you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. sprinkle the slivered almonds over the refrigerated french toast, then bake it for about 30 minutes, until it is crusty on the top and set in the middle.
- serve the french toast immediately, drizzled with maple syrup.