From our archives. First published November 2017
I am a huge lover of eating French toast for breakfast, but not so much a lover of waking up and making French toast for breakfast. Enter overnight baked French toast – the answer to all of my French toast dreams. The night before you’re planning on serving this pan of deliciousness, you slice up a loaf of challah and submerge it in a rich custard (that takes about three minutes to put together), poking berries between and on top of the custard-soaked bread, before covering it all in plastic wrap and placing it in the fridge. In the morning, preheat the oven and bake for about an hour and voila: crispy edged, slightly sweet, custard drenched bread and berries for your eating pleasure.
To take a peek at the original blog post for my blueberry baked French toast, and to peruse my collection of original recipes, click here.
- Jessie Sheehan
- 1 lb. loaf of challah or brioche or other enriched bread (this is a lot of bread - you may not need it all)
- 3 large eggs
- 3 yolks
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 1 1/2 cups blueberries fresh, or frozen
- Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
- confectioner's sugar for dusting
Grease a 13x9x2-inch pan with cooking spray or softened butter.
Slice the challah into 1-inch slices and slice those slices in half. Arrange attractively in your prepared pan, layering the bread in three rows, as in the photographs.
Combine the eggs, yolks, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and whisk. Add the sugars and whisk again. Add the milk, cream, and butter and whisk a final time. Pour the custard over the bread, pressing the bread down with your fingers, if necessary, to make sure all of pieces are submerged.
Sprinkle the blueberries over the bread, and, using your fingers, gently push some of the blueberries between the slices of bread. Sprinkle generously with Turbinado sugar. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.
In the morning, preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the pan from the fridge and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, checking after 45. The bread should be golden brown and the custard fully absorbed and “cooked.” If you like a looser, softer custard, bake for closer to 45 minutes. And if you like a crispier French toast, bake for longer. I'm somewhere in between.
Serve immediately with confectioner's sugar lightly dusted on top.
Jessie Sheehan is a cookbook writer, recipe developer and food blogger, blogging about all things sweet at www.jessiesheehanbakes.com. Her first book, Icebox Cakes, was published by Chronicle Books in 2015. Her second book, The Vintage Baker, has just been published by Chronicle, and is now available in bookstore and online. She lives in Sharon CT and Red Hook Brooklyn with her husband and two boys. She can be found on Instagram at @jessiesheehanbakes.