Sunday, June 13, 2010

Baked French Toast - Two Ways

Is there anything that screams Sunday morning more than french toast? I'm dying. I die at the thought of french toast on Sundays. Mostly because I can't sleep in and do whatever on Sunday morning.

There's always Saturdays though, right? Wrong. There is baked french toast though. Genius.

How about some niiiice baked black berry french toast. Now that summer is just around the corner I can stop hoarding the last of the blackberries Gabe picked last summer. We made it, hon. Let the hoarding begin.

Start with some lovely sourdough or challah bread. Day old is good. A few days old is best. If you were lucky enough to have some house guests bring you a lovely loaf of sourdough from Brown Bag - you can't do much else than make them a lovely baked french toast with it.

So I made the blackberry french toast for them. Thoughts? It was a little runny. I like bread pudding just like anyone else but it seemed just a tad soggy for my taste. Still good, but I needed more bread.

More carbs.

The answer to life is more carbs.

And butter. Butter the baking dish. I used a 9" x 13" glass dish with sides about 2" high.
If you like your baked french toast a little on the..softer side, use 3 - 1" thick slices of bread, cubed. If you like a little more texture, use 4 slices.

Then eggs.
Beat lightly.



This is the real stuff. No fake syrup please.

Now, if you're doing all maple walnut, you can skip the lemon zest. I didn't mind the lemon zest in the maple walnut, but I hardly consider my opinion normal. That's just me.
I definitely wouldn't skip this if I was making a completely blackberry (or whatever other fruit for that matter) baked french toast.

It really cuts through the richness of the custard - brightens the whole thing up.

But for me, I like raisins and nuts. Gabe? Not so much. So I did what any diplomatic person would do. I made 1/2 for him, 1/2 for me.

Walnuts and raisins for Mrs.

Oops - almost forgot the cinnamon in the milk/egg/syrup mixture.

Then pour the mixture over the bread.

Try to coat everyone evenly, people. Let's be fair to all the pretty little bread cubes.

And don't forget to press the bread down into the mixture. If you don't soak all the cubes, some may end up burning on the top.

There are those blackberries. Just a tad bit of freezer burn got them. They were probably happy to fulfill their little berry destinies. Sprinkle over the other half.
Then make the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Sprinkle over the whole thing.

Then? More butter. You knew that was coming though.
Dot the whole thing w/ little bits of butter.

This thing baking makes the whole house smell amazing. But you have to be're looking at about an hour's worth of baking and cooling time.
Grab a crossword puzzle or something.

Gabe's bite.

My bite. Mmmmmm.

And another one for Gabe.

Baked Two Way French Toast

makes 6-8 servings

If you want to do all berries/fruit or all raisins/nuts, just double the below topping quantities and omit the one you don't want.
Butter, for greasing
8 eggs
3 cups whole milk
1/2 c. buttermilk
3/4 cup maple syrup, plus extra for serving
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 lemon, zested **
4 (1-inch thick) slices day-old challah or sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
Toppings for Two Way version:

1 cup (12 ounces) fresh or frozen, thawed, and drained blackberries


1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. walnuts

lastly (for sprinkling)..

3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 stick butter - cubed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter your 9x13" baking dish. Cut 4 - 1" slices of sourdough or challah bread into 1" cubes. In a large bowl, crack eggs and mix lightly with whisk. Whisk in milk, buttermilk, maple syrup and 2 tsp. cinnamon. Zest lemon and add to mixture, whisk until incorporated.
Pour mixture over breadcubes. Make sure to press bread down into egg mixture. Spread berries on half and raisins and walnuts on other half. Sprinkle sugar/cinnamon mixture over entire pan. Dot with cubed butter evenly. Bake for 45 minutes or until set - enjoy!
**If you're doing raisins/nuts version, you can omit the lemon zest. Or keep it in - it's a free country, right?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Not Dead (I don't think)

Hi friends! I've been a bad blogger. I've been neglecting this blog and using the new job as an excuse. Boooo.

No worries! I will definitely kick my butt into gear and post something this weekend. Keep the faith.