For father’s day this year we decided to treat our dad to one of our favorite special occasion breakfasts as a part of our Father’s Day Brunch. Baked French Toast! But not just any baked french toast – THE BEST baked french toast!
You make this with day old thick crusted bread, we used Italian bread because it has fewer big air pockets than french, but any artisan bread will work. If you don’t plan to soak the bread overnight you can use regular bread (I have been known to use Texas Toast on short notice). We cut the Italian bread into 1″ thick pieces and let it dry out for a few hours before setting it up to soak in the egg batter overnight in the fridge. If you don’t want to stuff the french toast you should cut the bread in 2″ thick pieces instead of 1″ thick pieces.
We stuffed this version with bananas, but any fruit could be used. We were even considering adding some mascarpone or cream cheese with the fruit next time. This french toast is reminiscent of a baked bread custard with a sticky bun topping and the banana adds a nice fresh note and cuts the sweetness just enough!
For those of you interested, we served this along with grilled marinated London broil (in a hot and tangy homemade marinade) and homemade “home-fry” quiche made with Muenster cheese and roasted rosemary and garlic red potatoes! Delicious! Something sweet, something spicy, something savory…. mmmmm
- 4 large eggs
- ¾ cup half and half
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 1" thick pieces dry, thick crusted bread
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- 1-2 medium bananas, sliced
- Mix together eggs, half and half, and vanilla and pour half of the batter in a jelly roll pan or casserole dish. Make sure that you can lay all the bread flat in the dish before pouring the egg mixture.
- Place bread on top of the egg mixture and pour the other half of the batter on top of the bread, covering the bread evenly (if not evenly covered turn the bread over in the pan to make sure each piece is covered well).
- Cover and place in fridge over night to soak.
- When finished soaking, preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place the butter in a casserole pan and place in oven to melt, remove from oven once melted.
- Add the honey, brown sugar, maple syrup and chopped pecans to the pan and mix until combined.
- Remove bread from soak and place a layer on top of the butter/sugar mixture in the casserole pan.
- Cover bread with slices of banana and then cover with a second piece of soaked bread, try to make sure the banana is not sticking out the sides of the two pieces, so that the two pieces of bread bake together.
- Pour any remaining egg batter over the french toast.
- Once finished assembling, bake in oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden and puffy.
- Serve warm by flipping the stuffed french toast over onto the plate, so that the gooey caramel drips down the sides.