Updated: May 5
Perfect for parties, brunches, and just because.
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Today I’m sharing with you my overnight french toast recipe. Anytime I can make something ahead of time, wake up in the morning and have it cook while I’m getting ready is great. Especially because I have a family that likes to eat a big breakfast every day. Sure we have cereal every so often, but to be honest… we usually have breakfast with some fruit, protein (eggs or meat), and a bread (pancakes, waffles, toast, etc). Thankfully… we are very active outside.
The earliest known reference to "French toast" is in a collection of Latin recipes dating to the 4th or 5th century. It is described as simply "another sweet dish", and instructs to "Break [slice] fine white bread, crust removed, into rather large pieces which soak in milk [and beaten eggs] fry in oil, cover with honey and serve.
There is a French version, known as pain perdu (lost bread). Although it is known as a French variation, it's shown in fifteenth-century English recipes, this version was brought to America.
Mine is very similar to bread pudding and is a crowd-pleaser EVERY TIME I make it. I had to start doubling my batches in order to have enough for everyone when we have group brunches. when it’s done and the preparation is close to a custard. In the end, you end up with a crisp exterior, and soft smooth middle.
You really don’t even need syrup, in my opinion. Seriously, this is pretty sweet. I actually personally like to add some freshly made whipped cream and fresh fruit. Unless you’re my youngest, and will still add a little maple syrup because… well why not?
I do use almond extract in this recipe, but it is optional. If you don’t like it or can’t eat it, just don’t use it. Also, I use Brioche Bread for this. The texture and flavor is perfect for it and if you have never used it, I highly recommend trying it. You can bake it from scratch, but honestly… this is one of those times I go to a bakery and buy it (preferably un-sliced, but no need to be picky, just double up on the slices if it’s sliced already).
THE DAY BEFORE
What you'll need...
1/4 cup of white sugar
1 – 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
14 oz of whole milk basically refill the can with milk
1 tbsp. of vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract optional
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
pinch of salt
1 loaf Brioche Bread sliced in 6 thick pieces
toasted nuts (pecans, walnuts, etc)
whipped cream (store-bought or homemade)
Got everything? OK, let's get cooking!!
In a small saucepan whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, vanilla extract, almond extract (optional), brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and salt on medium heat. Let it heat to almost a boil (do not let it actually boil) and whisking every so often while it is heating up.
While the milk mixture heats,
whisk briskly the eggs and white sugar together until completely combined, light in color, and slightly frothy (about 4 minutes or so) in a separate bowl.
Now, this is important:
Once the milk mixture is warm, you must take remove it from the heat, and take ONE cup of the milk and VERY slowly add it to the egg mixture, constantly whisking until all the milk has been added. you are tempering the eggs so you don’t end up with scrabbled eggs in your french toast. Once you have done that, just take the pot, and slowly add the rest of the milk mixture until completely combined.
In a 9X13 pan
spray with non-stick cooking spray. Pour a small amount of the egg mixture (about 1/4 of the mixture) at the bottom of the pan. Add the 6 slices of bread and pour the remaining mixture all over the bread.
Let sit overnight.
Baking (the next day…)
Roll pout of bed, get your coffee going and preheat oven to 375°F.
Bake for 45 min, until nice and golden brown and there is no liquid present. REMEMBER this is like bread pudding, so it should be soft a gooey in the middle, but NOT runny or liquidy.
Pull the French toast out of the oven and let it sit for about 5 min.
Serve with powdered sugar, whip cream, and fruit, or whatever else you enjoy on your french toast.
ENJOY and Share!
All images © 2020 Jenn Smith of Smith Country, LLC
All rights reserved. You may not sell, trade, share (outside of sharing the link) or redistribute this recipe in any way or claim as your own. You may NOT use any of my photographs for your site. You may link this post to a list of recipes, giving credit for the recipe to myself and my site. ©2020 Jenn Smith of Smith Country, LLC