Wednesday, October 5, 2011

French Toast Bake

This past weekend we had a lot of family in town and had a brunch at my parents house. I decided I wanted to contribute something to the brunch, something new and different that I had never made before. Never mind if it wouldn't fit into the menu already planned by my mom, I wanted to make something. I know, so selfish of me, but here was a chance to try out my cooking on a new crowd and I know they would be  honest, come on, they're family! 

I looked at some different recipes and was originally going to go with some type of egg, sausage, potato breakfast casserole, but since my mom was already going to make a frittata, I figured I would go another route. (See, I did take into account her menu!) I searched breakfast recipes and came across this recipe on The images of the presentation looked impressive so I thought it would be perfect for a crowd. And, it was basically french toast in mass quantity. 

I do not like eggs, so I only tried a small corner of a piece of bread and thought it tasted so sweet! I wasn't sure how it would go over so I regularly went over to the buffet line to see if people were partaking in my dish (There was a lot of competition!) and what do you know, they were! By the end, there was only about a quarter of the dish left. My mother said the top was very sweet and the bottom just tasted like bread, wasn't too eggy at all. I asked my brother for a quote that I could post and he stated, It was good. There you go, ladies and gentlemen, grade A approval from The Tiffin Girl's eloquent brother, you obviously just can't go wrong.

I almost followed the dish to a tee because I didn't want to muck up something I was making for guests and couldn't fix. I read in the reviews of the recipe that it came out very soggy for many people, so I chose to add extra bread to keep the sogginess at bay, but I think I may have kept the egg taste at bay, just a bit. But it was a hit, so I think I'll stick to the same amount of bread next time.

1 1/2 loaves of 1-2 day old french bread
5 eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup packed brown sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup strawberries, chopped

1. Slice bread thickly and arrange in a greased baking dish.

2. In a bowl, combine eggs, milk, 3/4 cup brown sugar, vanilla and nutmeg. Pour over bread.Cover and refrigerate over night.

3. Remove mixture from fridge 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle pecans over bread mixture. Combine brown sugar and melted butter, drizzle over top. 

4. Bake for 25 minutes. Take out of oven and sprinkle with blueberries and strawberries. Bake an extra 10 minutes until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

5. Cool and eat!

Amateur Cooking Difficulty Scale: 3
 This is another easy one and another one you can impress guests with. The presentation is beautiful and apparently so good and sweet.

If I have another brunch, I'll definitely make this again. Mainly because it's easy and you can make it a day in advance so you don't have to stress the day of! 

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