Baked French Toast
This sweet dish has the consistency of bread pudding but is acceptable to eat for breakfast drizzled (or drenched) in maple syrup. My mom started making this for my friends and I in high school but the treat carried right over into college and post-graduation. Whenever my family would come visit me in California while I was in college mom would use the little kitchenette in her hotel room to make this and have it ready for us for breakfast in the morning… or as a late night snack if we came home hungry after a night of drinking.
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 loaf Italian bread, sliced into ¼” thick slices
8 large eggs
1 ½ cups half & half
¾ (packed) cup light brown sugar, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup maple syrup, divided
Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray bottom of 9 x 13” pan with cooking spray. Break up bread into pieces and layer it in the pan. In a bowl whisk together eggs, half and half, 1 teaspoon of the brown sugar and the vanilla.
Pour the mixture over the bread and toss lightly to coat the bread. Melt butter in a small mixing bowl and mix in the remaining brown sugar and ½ cup of the maple syrup, then spread evenly over the top of the bread. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
To serve: Serve hot, topped with the remaining maple syrup.