Saturday, November 10, 2012

UPDATE: Creative Baby Food Series- Bread (Yummy and Fantastic Overnight French Toast)

I originally found this awesome recipe through Quick dish.  I suppose I was suffering a sweet tooth and breakfast just seemed like the best way to conquer it; the sweet tooth, not the breakfast ;).  The original recipe is a super easy doozie of sugar coma causing I had to amp it up just a teeensy bit.  I used some of my latest sourdough (this beautiful loaf has a nice swirl of cinnamon through the center) and subtracted some of the additional spice and expense.  

I figured since I now have picky toddlers (who will be 2 on Wednesday!) that I should at least keep their tastes in mind.  They like nuts, when they wish to like them.  They like bread, when Momma makes it.  Ginger makes them wrinkle their noses; I suppose because it's so pungent.  So I took this super yummy casserole down to kid friendly brass tacks.  Also, I have never been the sort of cook to use measurements so I actually had to put thought into this recipe so that I could create this post. Just and FYI, it went over like gang busters!  You MUST try it!

Overnight French Toast Casserole- Rachel Style

     5 Tbsp butter, melted
     3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
     1 loaf cinnamon swirl sourdough (roughly 16 oz at 12in x 3in in measurement)
     8 eggs, lightly beaten
     1 cup whole milk
     1 Tbsp vanilla extract
     1 Tbsp cinnamon
     pinch of salt

    * if you're like my husband, you'll want to drizzle with maple syrup before consumption!  Totally worth the blood sugar spike.  

Prep time- 15 minutes 
Cook time- 30-35 minutes
Time all around- 12 hours(ish)
    (prepare the night before OR allowing at least 4 hours to rest)


In a small bowl combine the melted butter and brown sugar.  Pour the combination into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.  

Rough cut slices of the sourdough bread into pieces no thinker than an inch.

"Layer" the pieces into the baking dish like dominoes.  (this will keep the density of the bread intact and help it not turn to a mushy pudding)

In a small bowl combine the milk, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt and beat together lightly with a fork until combined but not frothy.

Pour the beaten mixture over the bread pieces.  Make sure that all of the pieces are covered.  There will be a pool in the bottom of the dish.

Cover with foil and refrigerate until morning.

 Preheat your oven to 350F and pull the casserole from the refrigerator.  Over night the egg mixture soaked into the break making it a lot less dense.  The beauty with sourdough is that it is SO dense on the front end it keeps its constitution through the resting and baking process.  No mush here!

Go ahead and slide your casserole on in the oven for 30-40 minutes.  Your aim is to make sure that all of the liquid, still not soaked into the bread, is cooked through.  So, around 30 minutes (depending on your oven) check to make sure the bread tops aren't browning too significantly.  If they are, drape with foil loosely; do not seal.  

Once the egg has cooked through pull out immediately.  Do not let the bread dry out.  Let cool for 5 minutes to set.  Then serve and drizzle with maple syrup or dust with powdered sugar.  Serves 6.

Both of my picky-man-eaters gobbled it down.  I was super thrilled with the result.  I chose to use maple syrup infused with vanilla and clove (um, yes please.).  I think it really gave it that extra pop.   I just love being able to get up in the morning and already have breakfast planned for the whole family.  It's one thing during the week to have fruit and crescents, or oatmeal and raisins; on the weekends I like our breakfasts to be a family affair.  Since Daddy is home with us we want him to enjoy our space too!!

Pajama clad satisfied customer ;)

From this mama's table to yours, enjoy.