French Toast: An Overnight Sensation


I am on a bit of a recipe “roll” lately. Get it? Get it? *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*

As I was gathering the supplies to make my Overnight French Toast and since I needed a post for NaBloPoMo, I thought I might as well share the recipe with all of you. It really is my kind of recipe — easy, flexible, and, of course, delicious.

I love the sort of meal that holds up (or, as in this case, gets better) to advance assembly, particularly a breakfast recipe. I’m not much for whipping up breakfast, even on a lazy Sunday morning. Oh, I always mean to, I just never quite get past thinking about how “French toast might be nice” as I fritter away the morning.

As a result, we have to satisfy our urge for international delights by drinking Ethiopian coffee and cracking the Greek yogurt. Ho-hum!

Tonight, though, as I was taking a chicken inventory in the freezer, I stumbled across a loaf of sourdough bread, which is my favorite bread for this recipe. As luck would have it, there were enough eggs in the fridge, and a package of pecans in the cupboard. It was destiny.

What you’ll need:

1 – Large loaf of sourdough bread (12″x6″, 2″-3″ high), sliced (each slice should measure about 1-1/2″ thick)

12 Large Eggs

1 cup Milk (or 1/2 & 1/2)

1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

1 Teaspoon (or more, to taste) Ground Cinnamon

8 oz. Chopped Pecans

Confectioner’s Sugar (for sprinkling over the cooked dish)

Slice the bread as desired. Thinner slices than 1-1/2″ will likely fall apart, thicker slices may require more liquid ingredients.

Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Whisk together.

Coat a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Pour 1/3 of the wet ingredients into the dish.

Dip each piece of bread into the wet ingredients, arrange four slices in the bottom of the baking dish. Cover with the second 1/3 of the wet ingredients and 1/2 of the chopped pecans. Repeat the process with the remaining 4 slices of bread.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, remove from the refrigerator and allow to warm to room temperature. (Do this while you enjoy a nice cup of coffee. It’ll make you feel like you’ve already accomplished something!)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re a cinnamon lover, like I am, sprinkle the top of the casserole with more cinnamon.

Cover tightly with aluminum foil (spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray to keep it from sticking to the bread). Place the whole casserole on the top rack and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the bread is crispy.

Alternately, you can take each slice out of the egg/milk mixture and fry it in a skillet. Make sure you toast the pecans as you’re cooking the bread — they’re the best part!

Serve with some real Vermont maple syrup. I warm mine up in a small saucepan, along with a couple of pats of butter. You can, of course, use whatever syrup you like, but the “real” stuff is well worth the few extra bucks. Well worth it.

You can also skip adding the butter to the warm syrup, but why? You’re basically eating cake for breakfast, the butter won’t kill you.

Don’t skip the confectioner’s sugar, though. Sprinkle it on top of each slice just before serving.

I’m so happy I had that loaf of bread in the freezer. I can’t wait until tomorrow morning!

Let me know if you make it, how you liked it, and what, if any, improvements/substitutions you made!

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