Brunch may be my favorite meal to cook, mainly because it’s usually synonymous with a lazy morning where I’m taking it easy after sleeping in, and then getting ready for a leisurely day reading the paper.
While I have a great French Toast recipe, every once in a while it’s fun to try a new variation on an old classic. We were traveling around Lenox, MA a few years ago while hanging out at Tanglewood and came across an excellent brunch place that happened to have “baked French toast.” It was the first time I had come across it, but it looked so decadent and filling that I promised myself I would try to make it one day.
Three years later I have *finally* gotten around to it! Since it was only for two, I ended up just halving the recipe and using a regular loaf pan (about 9″ x 4-5″) instead of the 9 x 13″ in the original recipe. However, I used just as much bread from the original recipe. (The following is for two portions using the loaf pan.)
Butter, for greasing
1.5 cups whole milk
1/3 cup maple syrup, plus extra for serving
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus 1/2 tablespoon
pinch kosher salt
1 lemon, zested
8 ounces day-old challah or sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cups (6 ounces) fresh or frozen, thawed, and drained blueberries
1.5 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 4-inch baking dish. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, and lemon zest. Add the bread cubes and mix until coated. Stir in the blueberries. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- In a small bowl, mix together the remaining cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the egg mixture in an even layer.
- Bake for 50 to 55 minutes until the top is golden and the filling is set.
- Spoon onto serving plates and drizzle with maple syrup.
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis from the Food Network.