Hello hello! It’s 2015! Fun fact, the year 2030 is now closer than the year 1999. Crazy.
I was originally intending to start off the year with a savory dish to contrast the sugar overload that is December, but I changed my mind. If you want savory, I suggest you look at last year’s post.
I was lucky enough to be able to take two weeks off work over the holidays, so I spent Christmas at home in Alaska. Unfortunately, Alaska forgot it was winter and didn’t have any snow, so no skiing for me, but I did run over 20 miles that week, my highest mileage week of the year. And I’ve got lots of skiing in since returning to Montana.
Prior to this trip, I’d been eyeing this recipe for well over a month but never had a good reason to make it. I sneakily offered to make breakfast for Christmas Day, and I don’t think anyone minded. I made a substantially less sweet version than the original and I thought it was the perfect amount of sweetness, especially if you’re planning to serve it with regular pancake syrup. I made a quick blueberry sauce as a topping and I’m pretty sure I’ll never eat it any other way. Well, maybe a different fruit. I bet blackberry would be awesome too.
In any case, this is a great meal for the holidays as it doesn’t require much time in the morning, but it would be equally great any time of the year. Just make sure you leave enough time in the morning for it to bake to your desired consistency. and you’re good to go. (You can always put it in the oven and go back to bed for an hour, I won’t judge.) We had it with a side of scrambled eggs and bacon for a well-rounded meal.
Oh yeah: Blueberry sauce. This stuff is super easy and super delicious, so you should definitely make a batch while the French toast is baking.
Also: The French toast reheats decently well, but if you don’t have enough people to eat a 9×13 baking dish you can certainly halve the recipe. Or you can split the full recipe between two 8×8 pans and put one of them in the freezer after they’ve refrigerated overnight. Just let it thaw in the fridge the night before and bake as normal (although perhaps a little bit longer depending on how cold your fridge is.) The 8×8 pans bake for roughly the same amount of time as the 9×13 pans.
If you’re looking to please a crowd with very minimal effort, this is definitely the recipe for you! Or if you’re just looking to please yourself, even better. Just try not to eat the whole pan at once.
Overnight Baked French Toast
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
1.5 lbs sourdough bread1
8 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
- Grease a 9×13 baking dish.
- Tear or cut bread into bite-sized pieces and spread evenly into the pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk remaining ingredients until completely combined. Pour liquid gently and evenly over the bread.
- Cover dish tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Retrieve dish from the fridge and use a large spoon to gently stir the mixture, so as to put the wetter pieces on top and the drier ones toward the bottom.2
- Bake 45-75 minutes (shorter time for closer to the texture of bread pudding, longer for a crispier texture.)3
- Serve immediately with toppings of choice.
1 You must use sourdough or some other kind of very dense bread.
2 This is not strictly necessary, but I found the texture to be more even throughout the dish after stirring.
3 I baked mine for just over an hour to avoid it being wet in the middle, although it was still quite soft. I will likely plan for 70 minutes in the future. If you think it’s getting too crispy on top, you can cover the pan with tinfoil for the last 20 minutes or so, but I haven’t found this necessary.
Borrowed from My Baking Addiction
Makes about 2 cups
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp cold water
1/2 tsp vanilla
zest of 1 lemon
- Combine blueberries, 1/2 cup water, sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until mixture comes to a low boil.
- Mix cornstarch and 2 Tbsp cold water until completely combined. Slowly stream into the blueberries, stirring constantly but gently, and simmer until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. (Cook less if you prefer a thinner sauce).
- Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla and zest.
- Serve on your favorite French toast, pancakes, waffles, ice cream, or whatever needs some blueberry-fication.
- Store leftovers in the fridge and reheat leftovers as necessary.