Baked French toast is the perfect lazy Sunday morning breakfast, you can emerge sleepily from your bed, as I did, and mix together the custard before soaking your brioche in it. As you wake up, have a cup of tea and get dressed, the bread spends time soaking up the rich vanilla custard. Pop the oven on, arrange your brioche on a tray and leave to bake whilst you have another cuppa and think about accompaniments.
I’ve always made French toast, or eggy bread as we called it as kids, by frying it in a pan, but I’ve now found this requires far too much concentration and effort for only ok French toast. Baking means that the custard will set properly inside and you’ll still get a crispy crust without any burnt bits. You can also prepare this the night before, pop it in the fridge and then bake it in the morning.
Baked French Toast
serves 2, easily doubled
- 4 slices of brioche bread
- 200ml semi skimmed milk
- 2 large eggs
- 75g caster sugar
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- extra caster sugar for sprinkling
Mix all the custard ingredients together in a bowl.
Arrange the brioche slices in a shallow baking dish and pour over the custard. Flip the bread over to make sure both sides are soaked up. Leave for 30 minutes, or overnight in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 170c / gas mark 4.
When you come to bake it, carefully remove the bread from the dish, and arrange the slices on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes, turning once during the cooking time, sprinkling with a little caster sugar for the last 15 minutes.
Serve with crispy bacon and maple syrup! My roasted rhubarb would go perfectly along with a dollop of creme fraiche, and can be cooked in the oven alongside the toast.