Dish #1 from our Mother's Day brunch buffet: French toast casserole. French toast is one of my favorite brunch dishes, but I wanted to spend time with our families rather than stand in the kitchen cooking French toast to order. I came across a "French Toast Souffle" on CookingLight.com. It's more like bread pudding than a souffle.
I wasn't sure this dish was going to turn out. The original recipe states to bake in a 9x13 baking dish, and my 9x13 baking dish had cinnamon rolls in it (note to self: need more baking dishes). So, I divided the bread cubes into two 2.5-quart Corningware baking dishes, and poured half the egg mixture over each. It didn't look like there was enough liquid in each dish.
Not only did this dish turn out well, it turned out to be my favorite! The custard has all the flavors of French toast in it — eggs, milk and maple syrup. The custard soaks into the bread and keeps it moist throughout the bake. Serve with a little extra maple syrup on the side!
Some tips: prep this dish twelve hours before you plan to serve it, to give the custard time to soak into the bread. Also, according to the recipe reviews, the best bread to use is Pepperidge Farm Hearty White; it holds up best when soaked in the custard.
French Toast Casserole
Source: Cooking Light
- 16 slices Pepperidge Farm Hearty White bread, sliced into 1-inch cubes
- Cooking spray
- 8 ounces ⅓-less-fat cream cheese at room temperature
- 8 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups reduced fat (2%) milk
- ⅔ cup half-and-half
- ½ cup real maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread the cubes evenly in the dish.
- Beat the cream cheese until smooth (about 3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add in the milk, half-and-half, maple syrup and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
- Pour the custard over the bread cubes. Cover the dish and refrigerate 8 to 12 hours.
- When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove baking dish from refrigerator and let come to room temperature on the counter (about 30 minutes).
- Bake for 50 minutes or until custard is set. Serve warm or room temperature. Sift powdered sugar over casserole just before serving, and serve with additional maple syrup.