Friday, February 8, 2013

Paula Deen's Baked French Toast Casserole

So this is another one of Paula Deen's outstanding breakfast recipes. My family usually inhales this dish, so I know yours will love it too.

Baked French Toast Casserole Recipe

Baked French Toast Casserole

Baked French Toast Casserole

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
8 large eggs
2 cups half and half
1 cup milk
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash salt
Praline topping, recipe follows

  1. Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1 inch each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs.) Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 X 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly.
  3. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices.
  4. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
  5. The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden.
Praline Topping
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, melted
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. Makes enough for Baked French Toast Casserole.
I generally cube the bread rather than cutting it into slices. I find that this helps get the milk-egg mixture into the nooks and crannies that it's supposed to go into. However, I have made it both ways, as shown above. Both achieve delicious results.

For this particular go round, rather than using French bread, I used Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Swirl bread and it turned out really yummy. As with preparing any French toast, I let the bread for the recipe get slightly stale before using it, although that is not specified in the original recipe.

I generally put the Praline Topping on the Baked French Toast Casserole the night before and cover and refrigerate the entire dish. I have had no problems with this method.

If you do not care for nutmeg, you will likely think that this is a very nutmeggy recipe. (Between the Casserole and the Topping, there is one full teaspoon, and you can taste it.) You may need to adjust accordingly.

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  1. I make this quite a bit as it is one of Howard's faves. I always buy the day old french loaf from Walmart for only a buck and if I don't make it right away, I just freeze the bread until I do. I also add bacon to this recipe. Charlotte says it makes it taste like a McGriddle. Also, I don't really like cooking bacon extra for a recipe, so I usually just throw in some bacon bits for this effect.

  2. I made it today! It was a success! Delicious!

  3. Congrats, Evelyn! And doesn't it just make the perfect Christmas morning breakfast? Make sure to stop by the blog for all the most current recipes - we'll make sure to keep them coming. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas and happy holiday season!

  4. could I just use reg. homo milk & not the half half, thank you

  5. Hi Anonymous! Yes, I've even substituted skim milk in the past and this recipe still turns out delicious. Doesn't seem like there's much you can do to ruin this scrumptious recipe! :-)

  6. can i freeze it if its already cooked?

  7. Hi Rita, I have never tried to freeze this recipe because it's so good we never have any leftovers. But, if I were you, I might try making the recipe and dividing it into two separate smaller pans (one to eat and one to freeze as a test). My thought would be that after you thaw it, that might make it a little on the soggy side, so you might need to heat it in the oven for a little longer to make sure that it doesn't stay soggy. I would try covering it with aluminum foil while reheating, though, just to make sure that you don't over-bake it while trying to make sure that it's not soggy. If it works out for you, please let us know!

  8. I have been making this for years. Like probably 10. It's our Thanksgiving and Christmas morning breakfast. I also make myself a 1/2 batch with Gluten Free Schar Bagette it is absolutely DELISH! I have also used walnuts instead of pecans, (weird husband) it's good either way. My Louisiana friends say it's like Bread Pudding.

  9. It says bake for 40 minutes but it doesn't say at what temperature.

  10. Hi Windy, Step #5 says preheat oven to 350 degrees. Hope you enjoy! ;-)

  11. I've used egg substitutes without any problem also!! My go to for potluck breakfast at work!!

  12. Do you bake it covered, uncovered, or a little of both?

  13. Hi Anonymous! I always bake it uncovered. Because it has been refrigerated overnight, everything is pretty cold to start with, so you shouldn't have any worries about it browning too much. Hope this helps.

  14. Hello! Do you think it would be ok to refrigerate this for 48 hours? Planning ahead for a trip this weekend. Thanks!

  15. Sure - seems like it would be OK to refrigerate a little longer. Enjoy!

  16. I have substituted French Vanilla Coffee Creamer for part of all of the Half & Half when running short. Kind of like the rich vanilla taste.

  17. Why would mine turn out soggy in the middle the top was golden brown!

    1. Not sure, Kerianne, but I'm so sorry to hear that! The only thing I could think is that the bread you used was too fresh maybe? The original recipe from Paula Deen doesn't call for "stale" bread, but I have never made the recipe with fresh bread.

  18. I live at a higher elevation and always end up cooking it at least an hour. It might be a little crispy on top but it’s still amazing!


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