Baked French Toast Casserole
1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
8 large eggs
2 cups half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, melted
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Cube bread. I buy day old bread. You can get creative and try the cinnamon bread or the challah bread, croissants, etc.
Mix eggs, milk, vanilla, and salt in blender. Toss with bread cubes in large bowl. Transfer to a greased baking pan, I like to use a half sheet pan which is larger than a 9x13 so it does not bake over the sides. It will fit in a 9x13 just be sure to bake it with something under it to catch any goo that bakes over.
Melt butter and mix in the rest of the ingredients for the praline topping. For my family I add 3/4 cup of coconut. You can skip the pecans if you don't like them. Pour over the bread mixture.
At this point you can slide it into the refrigerator and bake it the next morning or cover it with foil and freeze it. I get a total kick out of popping a frozen pan of this stuff in the oven before I go to bed and setting time bake and waking up to breakfast ready to go.
Bake @ 350 for 45 min to an hour. It is nice to give it some time to set before eating it.
Serve with fresh fruit of your choice and whipped cream.
Maybe I can get a picture of the finished product one day. It would be pretty to bake individual portions in ramekins.