One of the ultimate comfort food on a cold winter morning is a French Toast Casserole, delicately flavored with a touch of vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange zest. This recipe is a perfect use for any leftover brioche, challah or Greek tsoureki.
How to make French Toast Casserole
All you need for this recipe is a slightly stale brioche bread or challah or Greek tsoureki and some basic ingredients. Start with a good bread or you can make your own. Cut thick slices to help it stand up to the custard and place it in a buttered baking dish. Next, whisk up a custard to soak the slices in. Sprinkle desired toppings (fruits, nuts, chocolate chips/chunks etc) and bake in the oven until the surface is golden and crispy. When it comes out of the oven, the surface should be golden brown and crispy and the bottom is soft and puffy.
Gluten free and Dairy free options
This recipe can also be made with gluten free sweet bread and can also be made dairy-free by substituting the butter and milk. Replace butter for buttering the dish with either coconut oil or dairy free butter and the milk with your favorite dairy-free milk, like almond, soya, coconut or oats milk.
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
1 sweet bread (brioche/ challah/ tsoureki)
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp granulated or brown sugar
1 tbsp orange zest
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups berries
Preheat oven to 180C (355F).
Grease a baking dish (9x13) with butter and set aside.
In a large bowl or in a blender add eggs, 2 tbsp sugar, milk, heavy cream, vanilla extract, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and whisk or beat until well combined.
Cut brioche bread/ challah/ tsoureki in slices and place some (4-5 slices at a time) into the milk mixture. Allow them to soak for 20-30 seconds, then remove and place them in the baking dish.
Arrange them in the baking dish, overlapping slightly, but allowing all slices to have enough surface exposed in order to cook evenly.
Pour remaining custard over the slices. Next, add berries on top of the bread, sprinkle with 1 tbsp granulated sugar and bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
When ready remove from the oven, dust with some powdered sugar, fresh berries, honey/ maple syrup or ice cream and enjoy hot or warm.
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