Baked French Toast

1 French baguette
4 Tbsp Butter, melted
3 Large eggs
1 1/3 c. Milk
1/4 Tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Sugar
Vanilla extract
Brown sugar

Preheat oven to 425˚F.

Lightly butter a 13"x9" glass baking dish.

Cut the baguette into 1 inch slices and discard the end pieces. Arrange the bread in the baking dish in 1 layer, squeeze them slightly to fit if necessary.

In a bowl, add the eggs, milk, sugar, salt, a dash of vanilla and sprinkle some cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk them together until well combined.

Pour the mixture evenly over the bread. Refridgerate for about 30 min, then flip the bread to soak the other side for at least another 30 min - 1 hour.
Note: This can prepared overnight to save time in the morning.

Bring the soaked bread to room temperature (approximately 15 min).

Sprinkle bread with a little bit of brown sugar.

Bake for 20-25 min, until the bread is puffed and golden at the top.

Serve immediately with maple syrup.

My comments:

I love french toast but it has never been my forté in the breakfast department. My biggest problem always involved either under-soaking the bread such that the french toasts turn out too dry or over-soaking the bread and the bread falls apart even before it hits the frying pan. Unlike their breakfast counterparts, my attempts at making homemade French toast have always ended in disaster and I simply stopped making them.

But one day, I was really craving French Toast and my hubby was too lazy to take me out for breakfast. So I thought I'd take another crack at making my own and I found this unconventional recipe on Epicurious where the french toasts are baked, not fried. I immediately set to work...and it turns out these are THE BEST french toasts I have ever had!!

I made a few minor modifications, one of which is the use of a French baguette instead of a soft Italian bread. My friend Lupins uses baguettes for her french toasts and it tastes really good. Also, the baguette crust provides a firm framework for the soaked bread, so that when you flip the bread after 30 min, the bread do not fall apart.

Also, the original recipe asks to butter the bread on both sides prior to soaking with the egg mixture. When I made this, I only buttered 1 side (top side) but I found the butter flavour was too strong overall. So I recommend omitting the bread buttering altogether, perhaps even reducing the amount of butter in the egg mixture.

The vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg are also my own contribution to this recipe. I didn't think any breakfast food involving eggs and flour should go without these 3 ingredients. My suggestion is to add as much/little as you like. I went a little heavy on the vanilla and the cinnamon. These flavourful french toast made great snacks throughout the day. My hubby and I munched on the leftovers, one toast at a time, without maple syrup. We couldn't walk by them without eating one. Hahah...that's how good they were!!