Breakfast and Brunch Recipes
Praline French Toast
Variations on this recipe have been floating around for quite some time, but they all come down to this: bread, milk, eggs, and sugar, baked into a smooth, custard-y, aromatic breakfast treat. This is a perfect do-ahead dish: simply prepare the day before, refrigerate it and bake the next morning. Salty bacon is the perfect accompaniment.
Hands-on: 15 to 20 min | Bake: 40 to 45 min
Total 8 hr 55 min to 1 day 1 hr 5 min | Yield: about 9 servings
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey, maple syrup or corn syrup
- French or Italian bread sliced 1/2 inch thick, enough to cover the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan
- 1 1/2 cups whipping cream, Half-and-Half, milk, or fat-free Half-and-Half
- 5 large eggs, or 1 1/4 cups egg substitute
- 1/2 teaspoon flavor: pralines & cream, eggnog, vanilla-butternut, Amaretto, or your choice; or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch pan or shallow 2 quart casserole.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan, and stir in the brown sugar and syrup. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cooking until the sugar melts. Pour the glaze into the prepared pan, spreading it to the corners.
- Lay the slices of bread in the pan, atop the glaze. Use baguettes for smaller servings, a fat loaf of Italian bread for larger servings. Leftover/stale bread works well here; kids may prefer softer, sandwich-type bread, which will make softer, smoother French toast. Adults seem to prefer bread with more body.
- Whisk together the cream, Half-and-Half, or milk, eggs or egg substitute, the flavor and the salt. Pour it over the bread in the pan, pressing the bread down into the custard.
- Cover the pan, and refrigerate overnight, or for up to 24 hours.
- When you're ready to bake, heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Stir together the brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Sprinkle it evenly over the bread.
- Bake the French toast for 40 to 45 minutes, until it's bubbly and the top is very lightly browned.
- Remove it from the oven, and allow it to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
- Serve individual slices of bread, turning it over on the plate so the syrupy bottom is on top.