Baked Sunday Mornings: Baked French Toast

A few weeks ago when we were in Shenandoah, it was the perfect opportunity to make the baked French toast from Baked Explorations -- since folks tend to sleep late when we're at the cabin, it's great that you can make this recipe the night before and just pop it in the oven in the morning. I doubled the recipe and made it in a 9-inch by 13-inch pan, using challah. You arrange slices of bread in a buttered pan, and then pour over a mixture of eggs, half-and-half, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon, letting the mixture soak overnight. The recipe says that in the morning, you should turn over each slice of bread to make sure that it's fully coated in the liquid. But my soaked challah was so soft that it was too fragile to turn. So, I just put the pan in the oven (skipping the step of adding sliced almonds because of a nut allergy), and baked it for 35 minutes.

While the French toast was in the oven, I made the raspberry sauce, which is simply raspberries cooked with sugar until they break down, strained, with a little bit of fresh lemon juice added in. I drizzled all of the sauce and some fresh raspberries over the pan of French toast before serving. 

My slices of challah were all stuck together after baking, so instead of trying to separate out the individual slices for serving, I just cut the pan into rectangular slices, like it was a cake. The slices came out of the pan cleanly, with no sticking. I thought that this French toast was delicious. It was ultra creamy and had a lovely soft, custardy texture. Also, the raspberry sauce was outstanding, beautifully tart-sweet and brightly flavorful. No need for maple syrup here!

Best of all, this baked French toast was much easier to make than the pan-fried variety, and being able to assemble it the night before was a huge benefit. I would happily make this again, anytime!  

Recipe: "Baked French Toast," from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.


mike509 said…
Love the "cake"! What a beautiful the fresh berries. We were fresh out here. I much easier than using a skillet...and just as good!
Elaine said…
It looks beautiful with the raspberry sauce. I also used challah and was so glad I tried it because it tasted delicious. I also really liked that this was so easy to prepare and perfect when you have a houseful of hungry people to feed!
Rebecca said…
Mine also was a cake because of overly-soft challah, but I enjoyed it. The sauce was the best part. Yours looks really beautiful.
Jaime said…
Beautiful presentation. Mine stuck together as well, and I wish I would have thought to go with it as you did than fight it. Great work!
Oh..your french toast really looks lovely! And such an easy recipe to double the batch! Just beautiful!
: )
Kris' Kitchen said…
Sounds almost like bread pudding. I think I'll try challah next time. I used a dense, crunchy bread that never got soft even with all the each piece kept to itself pretty much. But I wanted it to be I'll go your route next time.