Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

Ingredients:
  • 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
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Dash salt
  • Praline Topping, recipe follows
  • Maple syrup
Directions:
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 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. 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.
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. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup. If you like your french toast not so soggy, bake for 55 minutes instead of 40.

We put the pecans on one side for guests that can’t have or don’t like nuts. Some also didn’t think it needed syrup. It was sweet enough.
Praline Topping:
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
  • 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
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. Makes enough for Baked French Toast Casserole.
Bacon:
  • Place foil on cookie sheet with sides. Lay out bacon and bake for 30 minutes on 350 for crispy bacon.
  • Lay crispy bacon on napkins to soak up additonal grease.
  • You can cook the bacon in the oven with the casserole.

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