Monday, May 14, 2012

Overnight Caramel French Toast

I found a recipe for an Overnight French Toast on Cooking Light's website.  I like making a special breakfast on Saturday mornings.  "Special" generally means pancakes, but really anything other than cereal. To make french toast the night before and just pop it in the oven in the morning?  Great idea!

We start with the caramel syrup part of the french toast.  This is made by melting butter, brown sugar and corn syrup together until nice and bubbly.

The caramel is poured into a baking dish coated with cooking spray.  I made 1/2 of the recipe, so I used a 9x9 pan instead of a 9x13.

For reasons even I don't know, I did not purchase bakery French bread for this breakfast.  Maybe this was because I didn't actually have a big PLAN for this breakfast.  Anyway, a thicker slice of bread would have been better here, but alas, it is what it is.  The bread slices are pressed into the pan over the syrup, in a single layer.

Mix together milk, flour, vanilla, salt and eggs, and pour it over the bread.  Cover it and refrigerate overnight.  Fast and easy night time effort.  Have to love that!

First thing in the morning, preheat the oven to 350F.  Then sprinkle a cinnamon/sugar mixture over the top of the custard-soaked bread, and pop it into the oven for 50 minutes.

It puffs way up in the oven, but then collapses again once it cools.  Dig in!

I found the toast to be a little too sweet for me, but here is how I will do it next time:  Use less brown sugar in the caramel syrup.  When it is done baking, turn on the broiler, flip the toast out onto a baking sheet, and put it back in upside down under the broiler for a few minutes.  This would help caramelize that caramel and firm it up more instead of being more of a syrup.  I think it would crisp up the bread a little as well.  Also, I would use real French bread next time. Of course!!

Overnight Caramel French Toast
adapted from Cooking Light
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup butter
Cooking spray
10 (1 oz.) slices French bread
2 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk (I used a mix of 2% and skim)
1 TB all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
2 TB granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Combine brown sugar, corn syrup and butter in a small saucepan.  Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the mixture is bubbly, stirring constantly.  Pour mixture evenly into a 9x13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Arrange bread slices in a single layer over the caramel in the baking dish.

Combine milk, flour, vanilla, salt and eggs in a bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Pour over the bread slices, cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine granulated sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the soaked bread.  Bake at 350F for 50 minutes or until golden brown.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Printable Recipe

Here is a thought...  What is the difference between overnight French toast and bread pudding?  Isn't this just like eating bread pudding for breakfast?? 

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