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Author Notes: Show stopping visually and bursting with flavor. And the best part? You can make it a day ahead of time and wake up and bake it an hour before guests arrive. I'd say this one is a win-win... —With Salt and Pepper
FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE
- 1 13 ounce loaf Italian bread
- 6 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 2 3/4 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons fresh orange zest
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 cup fresh cranberries
BROWN SUGAR TOPPING
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Tear bread into 1 inch pieces and spread evenly onto 2 baking sheets. Bake until dry, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
- Coat a 10 by 7 baking dish with cooking spray or coconut oil and pack the dried bread down into the dish.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs through the cinnamon and pour over top the bread. Use your hands or a spatula to fully submerge the bread crumbs. Wrap dish tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight.
- To make the topping, mix together the butter, brown sugar, walnuts, and salt. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
- Prior to serving, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap the casserole and evenly sprinkle the topping over the top. Place the baking dish onto a large baking sheet and bake for 55 minutes to an hour until puffed and golden.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Festive, Crowd-Feeding Breakfast
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