This is my family's favorite french toast recipe. The bread is soaked in the classic egg/milk mixture, then smeared with a butter/brown-sugar glaze. Bake them glazed-side down, and the end result is better than anything I've ever had in a restaurant - a rich, vanilla-flavored french toast with a caramel coating on top. You do not need any maple syrup for these! Just a dusting of powdered sugar will do. Fresh berries go perfectly with this dish. A side of sausage links or patties will round out this breakfast, providing the sweet/savory balance many people crave. This is my "go to" recipe when I have company over for brunch. It's perfect for entertaining because it's easy, it bakes for 25 to 30 minutes, which gives you time to clean up and prepare a side dish, and it looks so pretty. I found this recipe several years ago on mrbreakfast.com, and adapted it to suit my family's taste. I made these this morning to celebrate our first snow day - the kids were thrilled!
Here's what you need:
- 1 French loaf (should be stale), cut into 1-inch slices
- 6 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1-3/4 cups milk (or half & half if you don't mind the extra fat)
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- confectioner's sugar (optional)
In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, and vanilla until well-blended.
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, melted butter, and cinnamon until well blended.
Place a few pieces of bread in the egg/milk bowl and soak for a couple minutes - turning once.
Remove the bread slices with a slotted spoon and place on the greased baking pan. Use a rubber spatula to spread some of the brown sugar mixture on one side of each bread slice.
Then turn each slice over, so the brown sugar-coated side is face down.
Repeat this process until your bread is used up and your pan is full. The brown sugar/butter mixture will separate as it sits, and you will need to stir it each time you coat a batch of bread slices. I used an extra long French loaf and had a few leftover pieces. If you use a standard-size French loaf, you should have enough to dip and coat the entire loaf.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.You'll see that the bottom of the pan is filled with gooey, caramel-like sauce.
Let them cool for a few minutes, then serve them brown sugar-side up. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.