How to Make Overnight Blueberry French Toast | Breakfast Recipe | Allrecipes.com
How to Make Overnight French Toast
Nothing says good morning quite like a heaping plate of soft, sweet, syrupy French toast. But making French toast usually leaves you with a big mess on your hands and a sink full of dishes to scrub. If you’d like to enjoy French toast more often while sidestepping the tedium of extensive prep work and cleanup, try making the “overnight” variation. All you have to do is put the ingredients together in advance, let the bread marinate overnight to pack in the flavor, then simply stick it in the oven in the morning. With only ten minutes of prep time and half an hour of baking, you’ll have breakfast for a small army, and it can all be done in a single dish.
1 loaf thick-sliced bread
1 stick of butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Dash of salt
Maple syrup (drizzled over top)
Powdered sugar (sprinkled over top)
Additional toppings (optional)
Preparing Your Ingredients
Butter a large baking pan.Find a baking pan or casserole dish deep enough to hold all your ingredients. Melt ½ cup of butter (about one whole normal-sized stick), add 1 cup brown sugar and pour the mixture into the bottom of the dish to coat it.
- Depending on the size of your baking dish, you may have use multiple layers to make room for the bread.
- Use a spatula to help spread the butter/sugar mixture, as it will likely be sticky.
Layer the bread on the bottom of the dish.Pick out a loaf of whatever kind of bread you prefer to use for French toast. Place the slices in the bottom of the baking pan whole so that they overlap slightly, or cut them into 2-3 inch cubes to make the most of your space. Once in the pan, the bread will begin to absorb the butter and sugar, lending it a rich flavor and helping it cook through more evenly.
- It’s better if the bread is of a thicker, heartier variety, like sourdough, brioche or Texas toast, as the moisture and sugar in the egg mixture will cause softer breads to disintegrate as they bake.
- Make sure the slices of bread overlap so that there’s no space between them.
Whip up the egg mixture.In a large mixing bowl, combine 6 eggs, 2 cups of milk, ¼ cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg and a pinch of salt. Whisk the mixture together until it forms a smooth liquid. This is the egg wash you will be soaking the French toast in.
- Unlike normal French toast, there’s no need to do all that dipping and grilling.
- Use more or less of each spice to taste.
Pour the mixture over the bread.Using a rubber spatula and a steady hand, slowly cover the bread slices with the egg mixture. If you’re using more than one layer of toast, pour half the mixture over the first layer, then add the second layer and cover it with the remaining half.
- Pour the liquid mixture as evenly as you can over the entire area of the baking dish.
- Try not to leave any uncovered spots. Dry bread will lack flavor and may burn easier than the parts that have been soaked.
Refrigerate overnight.Cover the French toast in aluminum foil and place it in the refrigerator to let it marinate. As it sits, it will continue to soak in the flavors of the egg mixture, incorporating the creaminess of the dairy ingredients and the sweet spice of the cinnamon and nutmeg. In the morning, just take the it out of the refrigerator and bake it. It’s that easy!
- Refrigerate the French toast for at least 12 hours to give it enough time to set up properly.
- Getting this dish ready only takes about 30 minutes… the rest is done while you sleep!
Baking the French Toast
Preheat the oven.Turn the oven on to bake or convection and set it to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). While it warms up, retrieve your French toast from the refrigerator and take a peek under the foil. It will have soaked up the egg mixture nicely, and when baked will puff up to a crisp, pillowy finish.
- You don’t want the oven too hot. Because of the high sugar content, the French toast could scorch if it’s exposed to too much heat too quickly.
Bake for half an hour.Place the French toast in the oven on the center rack, leaving it covered for now. Set a timer for 30 minutes. This will give the toast a chance to start cooking through to the center. Afterwards, you’ll remove the aluminum foil and finish baking it under direct heat.
- The foil will trap heat, helping the French toast bake more evenly.
- A single layer of French toast may not need to bake for a full 20 minutes. Watch it closely and take it out when if it looks like it’s done, even if your timer hasn’t expired.
Uncover and continue baking.Once your timer goes off, open the oven and slide the pan out long enough to peel off the aluminum foil. Put the French toast back in the oven for roughly 5-10 more minutes, keeping an eye on it as it bakes. When the outer surface just begins to brown around the edges, it’s ready to eat.
- Actual cook times may vary, depending on the area of your baking dish and the thickness of the bread. It’s always best to watch the progress a dish and use your best judgment for determining when it’s done.
- The French toast will cook much faster once it’s been uncovered, so make sure you don’t overcook it by mistake.
Remove from the oven and serve.Carefully take the French toast out of the oven and set it aside to give it a couple minutes to cool. While you’re waiting, warm 2 cups of maple syrup in the microwave and drizzle it over the top. Add whatever extras you like, then dish it up and enjoy!
- Use an oven mitt (or two) to keep from burning yourself when removing the French toast. Be careful, the dish may be heavy.
- This recipe will easily serve 10-12, so there’s no need to worry about not having enough. Leftovers can be thrown straight back into the oven to heat up the next day.
Adding Delicious Toppings
Sprinkle on powdered sugar and walnuts.Traditionally, French toast is served with a generous dusting of confectioner’s sugar. Chop a couple handfuls of black walnuts and scatter them over the top of the dish to provide the finishing touch. The sharp notes of the walnuts will help balance out the sweetness of the maple syrup and sugar.
- Give the walnuts a couple pulses in the food processor for finer, more consistent pieces.
- Layer the walnuts in with the bread before you bake it to add a little crunch to every bite.
Top with fruit and cream.Give your French toast the crepe treatment by heaping on a combination of made-from-scratch whipped cream and fresh strawberries, blueberries, peaches or bananas. You could also use canned preserves if they’re available, or simmer a quick compote on the stovetop with butter, sugar, water and sweet spices.
- Choose from fruits that are in-season and make different versions of the dish all year long.
- Try baking some cinnamon apples and crowning each serving of French toast with a slice or two.
Spoon on some Nutella.The creaminess of the chocolate and hazelnut spread is the perfect counterpart to the sponginess of the French toast. Slather it straight on top, or spread it between the finished layers. This is a great way to combine two of your favorite foods, and is especially useful for imparting extra flavor to your breakfast when you’re short on time.
- Not only is Nutella supremely tasty, the ease of simply scooping it straight from the jar is very much in line with the convenience of overnight French toast.
- Dress up the texture of the dish by sprinkling shredded coconut over the top before you dig in.
Drizzle with melted cinnamon butter.Combine pure ground cinnamon, granulated cane sugar and a hint of brown sugar with melted butter and chill overnight to make a decadent cinnamon butter. A dollop of cinnamon butter and a few streaks of wild clover honey is guaranteed to take already delicious French toast to new heights.
- This is the perfect way of giving your French toast a bit more spice, and makes a great holiday treat to boot.
- After breakfast is over, you can use your homemade cinnamon butter to liven up everything from cookies to oatmeal to dinner rolls.
- Serve with a side of bacon or poached eggs, a yogurt parfait and a steaming cup of espresso.
- Cut the bread into small pieces for more of a casserole-style dish.
- Substitute honey for picky eaters who don't like maple syrup.
- Cut the recipe in half and save the remaining ingredients for next time if you’re only feeding a few.
- Throw together a hassle-free overnight French toast the next time you have company stay the night, or are asked to bring a dish to a brunch gathering.
Video: How to Make Easy Baked French Toast | Breakfast Recipe | Allrecipes.com
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