vanilla baked french toast

April 26, 2010

Can you imagine a more decadent and satisfying way to make good on leftover/now stale crusty bread? I can’t. Seriously.

This is always my problem with buying a delicious loaf of bread for something or other. There’s always one really good use for it, then it’ll doubtless get used as a vessel for cheese, but I always end up wasting a bunch of it.

No more, friends, no more…

Vanilla Baked French Toast
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • about 3/4 loaf day old bread (French or Italian loaves work well but Challah is best), cut in 1-inch slices
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • dash salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Generously grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter.
2. Arrange the bread in two tightly-packed layers in the pan. It’s super useful how loaves like French batard (what I used) or sourdough, tend to have smaller slices at each end, since these do an awesome job of filling any gaps.
3. Whisk the milk, eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla and pour over the bread. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
4. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The bread will absorb all of the milk custard while you sleep.
5. Bake at 425F for 30 minutes, or until puffed and golden.
6. Cut into generous squares and serve with maple syrup, fresh fruit, powdered sugar or all of the above. Or if you’re me…bacon.

Serves 4-6 as main course.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

brandi April 26, 2010 at 2:28 pm

pretty sure I just drooled on my keyboard. :)

can you overnight some to me for my breakfast tomorrow?


Janetha April 26, 2010 at 3:42 pm

uhhh.. i am drooling over that! yum! pretty sure that would be a serving of ONE for janetha.


Susan April 26, 2010 at 8:10 pm

I am thisclose to asking you to marry me right now. That looks AMAZING. I love that it's just something you can pop in the oven in the morning and have ready quickly :)


elise April 27, 2010 at 11:33 am

how come i never think to use crusty old bread for french toast…oh thats right my bread rarely gets old, haha. if only a loaf lasted longer than two days in our apartment…

you are so crafty. and i laughed at the vessel for cheese comment (like me and hummus)


Emily (A Nutritionist Eats) April 27, 2010 at 2:38 pm

I always have left-over bread (from cheese generally) what a perfect way to use it! Thanks!


Diana @ frontyardfoodie April 28, 2010 at 11:08 am

Oh goodness! I should buy bread more often so it can go stale more often so I can make more things like this!


Holly April 28, 2010 at 11:27 am


french toast is my #3 favorite food. and i am hungry right now. that is a dangerous combination.

you around tonight for a phone chat? let me know. happy wednesday :)


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