Sunday, November 15, 2015

Cinnamon toast overnight French toast bake

Love breakfast but don't always have time to make it in the mornings? Try this overnight cinnamon French toast bake! With a super crunchy and cinnamon-topped toast, this dish is sure to start your day off right!

Every Sunday, I make brunch for our family. Sometimes it's more lunch-like, but often times we eat breakfast items. Pancakes and waffles are always on the rotation. While I love cooking for my family, sometimes it takes a while and prevents me from spending more time with Addie in the mornings. We usually Facetime with my parents on Sunday mornings while my husband is swimming so I don't get to hang out with Addie quite as much.

Enter this cinnamon toast overnight French toast bake. I made it the night before and simply popped it in the oven before my husband came home. Foolishly, I forgot to cover the pan and the tops got a bit crispy (but that was Addie's favorite part).

I used plain sandwich bread for this toast and think it would have tasted better with thicker slices of bread. The bread got a little soggy for my personal tastes, but it was still good overall. I loved the cinnamon toast part because it reminded me of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal from my youth, and it was the only sweet part about the dish.

Feel free to top yours with fresh fruit, a sprinkle of powdered sugar, or maple syrup for a sweet finish. This was definitely a great time-saving dish on a Sunday morning and a great new addition to our brunch rotation.

Overnight cinnamon french toast
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 pound loaf (16 slices) white sandwich bread
  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups milk (I used 2%)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Directions
Make the cinnamon toast: Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together the cinnamon and sugar. Line two baking sheets with foil. Place 8 bread slices on each baking sheet. Butter each slice of bread with about 1 teaspoon of butter and then sprinkle the tops with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. You might have a little bit leftover (save it for the topping).

Bake in your oven for 7-10 minutes or until the tops are crunchy and caramelized. Cut two slices of bread in half horizontally. Set the bread aside briefly.

Generously grease a 9"x13" high-sided baking dish. Place the dish so that the long side is facing you and the shorter sides are to your left and right.

Arrange the toast: Place one cut slice of toast in the upper left-hand corner, with the cut side facing left (toward the side of the pan). Fan 7 full slices of toast on top so they overlap. Add another halved slice as the final slice. Turn the pan 180 degrees and repeat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, salt and vanilla. Pour evenly over the arranged bread. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.

Bake the french toast: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle any leftover cinnamon sugar on top of the casserole and make sure it's covered with the aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes in your preheated oven and then remove the foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. As you can see from my photos above, my toast baked a little bit too long without the aluminum foil.

Allow the toast to cool a bit before serving. Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container and will last for a few days.

Yield: about 8-10 servings

Source: The smitten kitchen cookbook, pages 7-8

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