With the holidays approaching, it’s never too soon for us home cooks to plan our menus. Family, friends, college roommates and stragglers alike can turn your quiet kitchen into a bustling cafeteria. But, alas, holiday time is joyous, so leave the stress at the gym and make this do-ahead outrageous recipe for sticky bun French toast..
Overnight option: If you’re not an early bird, morning baking can be an arduous task. This breakfast casserole is assembled the day before and refrigerated over night leaving nothing but baking the next morning. It’s also just as good assembled and baked at the same time leaving you with lots of options and more time on your side.
About “eggy” bread: Many varieties of bread make delicious French toast from straight up white to whole wheat and even sourdough. But, Secrets of a Home Cook prefers an eggier bread such as challah or brioche because it’s rich in flavor and tender in texture, thanks to the eggs in the batter.
Bacon secret: What would French toast be without a side of bacon? In keeping with keeping it simple, bake the bacon in the oven along with the French toast. Secrets of a Home Cook lines a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then places a cookie cooling rack on top. The bacon is placed in a single layer on top of the cooling rack. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and the result is flat, crispy bacon, leaving all the grease drained at the bottom.
Sticky Bun French Toast
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 35-40 minutes
- ½ stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1-teaspoon salt, divided
- 1-cup raisins (optional)
- 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional)
- 1 lb. loaf “eggy” bread (challah or brioche)
- 5 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups half and half
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- 1-teaspoon cinnamon
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, sugar, corn syrup and ½ teaspoon salt. Whisk until mixture is barely bubbly and smooth. Meanwhile, scatter raisins and pecans in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Pour topping over the raisins and nuts.
- Cut bread into 1 ½-inch slices. Arrange over topping cutting some pieces to fit so the entire dish is covered. Whisk together eggs, half and half, orange zest and juice, ½ teaspoon salt and cinnamon. Pour over bread (at this point cover and refrigerate overnight).
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Uncover and bake 35-40 minutes until golden brown. Invert onto a serving platter and cut into squares.