Baked French Toast

1 pound loaf Italian or French bread, torn into pieces
8 eggs
2 cups whole milk
12 cups heavy cream
34 cups sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla

For the topping
12 cups all purpose flour
12 cups brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
14 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus extra for greasing baking dish

1. Spread extra butter in a 9 by 12-inch baking dish to grease.  Evenly distribute bread pieces in dish. 

2. In large bowl, mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla.  Pour over bread and gently press bread down with spatula to ensure better absorption.  Cover and place in refrigerator overnight or at least 4 hours. 

3. In small bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  Cut in butter pieces until mixture resembles crumbs.  Cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use. 

4. When ready to bake, heat oven to 350*F.  Remove dish from fridge and sprinkle crumb mixture over top.  Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, depending on desired texture.  A shorter cook time will be more like bread pudding and a longer cook time will be firmer – I went with the hour cook time and it was perfect. 

5. Serve with maple syrup, the real kind please!

No photo – the perils of dining with company!

This recipe is from Pioneer Woman.  We joke that she’s my nemesis but, really, she has no clue who I am and I’m in awe/envy of her amazing success as a blogger.  While her recipes have been hit or miss with us, this one was a HUGE hit.  My parents loved it, Art loved it, I loved it and, as always, Lance prefers his breakfast foods not to be sweet.  So I knew that this wouldn’t win him over anyway.  I call that a resounding success of a breakfast dish. 

This also gets major props for being so simple to prepare.  It came together in about ten minutes the night before and I baked it in the morning when I was getting ready for my parents to arrive.  I was also able to easily bake bacon on the bottom shelf of the oven while this was on the top. 

We ate this with sliced bacon and grapefruit.  Nom nom nom.

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