The first version of this recipe had a ridiculous number of eggs because I had some very happy and productive chickens laying more eggs than I knew what to do with.
This updated (and much better!) version of French Toast Breakfast Bake is actually an Apple Cheddar Breakfast Bake, with fewer eggs and lots more flavor. (And since breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, we actually eat this more for dinner than we do in the morning.)
There are lots of variations of this type of french toast casserole, with some I’ve seen using as much as three cups of sugar – which to me is more dessert than breakfast.
This savory version doesn’t have any added sugar, but that is just fine when you are using syrup anyway. Adding fresh or dried fruit also adds some additional sweetness.
It’s a great way to use up bread, rolls or croissants that are getting stale.
Tossing the cubed bread with the egg and milk mixture and letting it soak before you put it in the baking pan helps ensure that you don’t get an eggy layer at the bottom of your casserole.
You can prepare this dish the night before you want to serve it. In the morning, just pop it in the oven, turn on the coffee and go out to feed those chickens while breakfast is baking.
Or grab the newspaper and put up your feet- it’s all good.
- 8 cups / 2 liters bread cut into 1-inch / 2.5 cm cubes
- 2 apples peeled, cored and roughly chopped (about 2 cups / 500 ml)
- 1/2 cup / 125 ml raisins
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml dried ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon / 2.5 ml salt
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml dried onion flakes
- 1 cup / 250 ml grated Cheddar cheese
- 4 eggs beaten
- 2-1/2 cups / 625 ml milk
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml flour
- 1/2 teaspoon / 2.5 ml salt
- 1/2 teaspoon / 2.5 ml baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F / 176 degrees C.
Grease a 9x13-inch / 23x33 cm baking dish.
Place bread in large mixing bowl. Toss with the chopped apples, raisins, cinnamon, ginger and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the cheddar and stir until blended.
In separate bowl, beat eggs, milk, flour, baking powder and salt. Pour over the bread.
Toss the bread to thoroughly coat it with the egg mixture.
Let the bread sit for 20-30 minutes. Gently toss the mixture occasionally to ensure that the egg is all absorbed by the bread.
Place the soaked cubes in the prepared pan. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. Remove the foil and bake for 5-10 minutes until the top is lightly browned. It should feel firm but not hard to the touch when it is cooked, and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out dry.
Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes.
Serve with warm syrup.
This recipe is very adaptable.
Use different types of bread, or a mixture of what you have on hand. Bread that is least a day old is best. Any stale bread that is not too hard is fine.
You can omit the cheese and onion flakes and add 1/4 cup / 60 ml sugar for a sweet version.
For the chopped apples, substitute berries or other fresh or dried fruit.
Vary the spices: try cardamom, ginger or nutmeg.
Use all milk, or substitute part cream or evaporated milk .
Updated on September 19, 2016.
This looks so tasty! I bet it would be good with pumpkin instead of apples too.. I’ll have to try this!!
Mmm, pumpkin – I will give that a try 🙂 Cranberries would go well with that 🙂