Monday, February 18, 2013

Baked Cinnamon French Toast

Do you remember having cinnamon toast as a kid? What a vice that was. Bread, butter, cinnamon, and sugar for breakfast! This dish combines that wonderfulness with the heartiness of French toast. You can make it ahead and not even worry a bit about standing over the stove and wondering if it's gonna get cold.

Not wanting to waste any egg, which usually is par for the course when making French toast, we skipped the griddle and put all the ingredients into one pan. Seriously, in no more than 10 minutes, it's baking in the oven, and the whole house smells cinnamon-y.

Baked Cinnamon French Toast

2 tablespoons cane sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk (like Whole Foods 365 brand)
zest of one orange
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
6 slices rustic whole wheat bread
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (like Whole Foods 365 brand)
2 bananas (diced)
maple syrup (to serve)

In a small bowl mix the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, zest, vanilla, salt, and 1/2 of the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Shingle the bread into a 6 x 9 casserole dish. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, top with the remaining cinnamon and sugar mixture, and dot it with the butter.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. This will give the bread enough time to soak up the egg mixture. Once the oven is preheated, cover the dish with foil and place into the oven for 20 minutes, uncover, and return the dish to the oven for another 10 minutes. Serve hot with bananas and warm maple syrup. (Serves 4.)