I LOVE French Toast!
Growing up in Germany, my mom would usually make it for lunch, actually. Whenever we had some older bread and she had to put something on the table quickly, French toast came to the rescue.
Well, the German name for it “Arme Ritter” has nothing to do with the French, but actually means “poor knights”. Despite a little Google research, I cannot find the history or origin of this name, though.
We didn’t drown them in maple syrup, that’s something I only came to know and like in Canada. Instead, we often had it as a side with another savory dish.
Making traditional French toast for a brunch crowd can become quite the ordeal. I prefer visiting with guests, over frying away at the hot pan. Luckily, it can also be made in the oven in the form of a casserole.
I’ll be honest, when I first heard of French toast casseroles I was very skeptical. How could it still have the same texture of crispy outsides and a spongy interior? But it truly works and tastes absolutely divine!
And it can even be prepared ahead of time. You can toss the bread cubes and egg mixture at night, let it soak in the fridge overnight and just pop the whole dish in the oven while getting ready for breakfast or brunch. Serve topped with (macerated) berries and maple syrup. Mmmm…yum!
This is PERFECT if you are hosting Mother’s Day brunch.
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp each ground cloves and salt
- 3-4 cups crusty bread cubes (~ 1 inch)
- 3-4 Tbsp unrefined sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8 inch square baking dish. Place bread cubes into dish to generously cover the bottom.
- In a mixing bowl whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Pour over bread cubes and toss slightly to coat them. (Up to this point you can prepare the night before and store covered in the fridge.)
- Sprinkle unrefined sugar over top and bake for 40-50 minutes until set. If center is still jiggly, return to oven for 5-10 more minutes. Serve right away topped with macerated berries and maple syrup.