Breakfast can be tough when you have holiday houseguests — especially if you’re already planning a big feast for later in the day. This overnight French toast casserole — which is great with baguettes but can be made with whatever bread you have — takes some of the pressure off. Assemble it the night before and then bake it in the morning.
- 1 1/2 French baguettes (for a total of 36 inches of bread)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Optional garnishes: Maple syrup, powdered sugar
- 9- x 13-inch baking dish (or another large baking dish)
- Cutting board
- Bread knife
- Small microwave-safe bowl
- Chef’s knife
- Large mixing bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Plastic wrap
1. Prepare the casserole.
Spray a 9- x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Cut the baguettes into slices about 1 inch thick. Discard the end pieces.
Microwave the butter in a microwave-safe bowl on high in 30-second intervals until the butter is completely melted.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and cream until smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and stir to combine. Add the sliced bread and toss until the bread is evenly soaked with the egg mixture. Pour in the melted butter, cranberries, and pecans, and mix again. (It’s OK if bits of butter begin to solidify.)
Arrange the French toast slices in the baking dish in three rows, placing bits of pecan and cranberries between each slice. Pour any remaining egg mixture over the top of the French toast casserole.
2. Let the casserole soak.
Cover the casserole with plastic wrap and let it sit overnight (or up to 24 hours) in the fridge.
3. Bake the casserole.
In the morning, take the casserole out of the fridge and heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Remove the plastic wrap and bake the casserole on the middle shelf of the oven for 50-60 minutes, until the top is just slightly golden brown and the bread is puffed.
Cool at least 15 minutes before serving.
- Whisk together ingredients
- Toss bread in egg mixture
- Toss cranberries and pecans with bread and egg mixture
- Arrange French toast in the baking dish