Buttered Maple French Toast Casserole

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast or brunch with this buttered maple French toast casserole. It’s make-ahead and will make someone happy. Very happy.

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Buttered Maple French Toast Casserole - Enjoy a leisurely breakfast or brunch with this buttered maple French toast casserole. It's make-ahead and will make someone happy. Very happy.

Our family loves French Toast. I love that you can put dry bread to good use. Waste not, want not, right? I particularly love the idea of a French Toast Casserole. However, many recipes I tried in the past left me with a very gooey, custardy concoction. Not my favorite. I like a bit of crunch.

A few years ago I happened upon the idea of buttering the bread that goes in the casserole. In this way, you get a nice, toasty, crunchy top. There’s still the custard layer on the bottom. It’s like the best of both worlds. And since the bread holds its shape so well, you can eat it out hand.

I created a delicious Buttered French Toast Casserole with Almonds and Ginger in Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook. It is amazingly good. If you’ve got the book and haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend it. The candied ginger, dried fruit, and almonds give it a wonderful combination of textures. Yum-O!

Buttered Maple French Toast Casserole - Enjoy a leisurely breakfast or brunch with this buttered maple French toast casserole. It's make-ahead and will make someone happy. Very happy.

I use Trader Joe’s Ciabatta for this recipe and whip it up lickety-split. I realized last time I made it that I now need to make two pans. My family loves this and gobbles it down in a heartbeat. (Make croutons with any leftover bread.)

One of the great things about it — besides the amazing flavor and texture and it’s quick prep time — is that you could make it ahead of time and stash it in the refrigerator or freezer. You’ll get variations in texture, but the flavors are still amazing.

This dish is great for lazy breakfasts and brunches.┬áBonus: It’s naturally sweetened with maple syrup, making it a real, whole foods, kinda meal.

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Comments

  1. Stephanie M. says:

    This looks so delicious, Jessica. I will definitely be giving it a try. We love French toast and this looks like a wonderful variation from the regular egg soaked white bread that I usually use. Also, just thought I’d tell you that today, for the first time, I made your Italian sandwich rolls. It took me two tries. The first time, the dough just refused to rise, at all. My yeast was good and I followed the directions exactly. So figuring that it might be the flour, I ran out and bought a new bag. Although the one I had wasn’t old at all. Since I bake so often, flour never gets a chance to get old. Anyway, that dough starting rising immediately. I divided the dough into 16 pieces and molded them into thin, short rolls, as directed, but they baked up a little smaller than hot dog buns. I also put two slits in each roll with a razor and sprayed them three times with a water sprayer as I’ve always done when I make French Bread during the baking process. In any event, as small as they were, they were absolutely delicious and we ate them as dinner rolls with butter. I froze the rest and when they’re gone, I’ll be making more, maybe round next time. Unfortunately, they are entirely too small for sandwiches. I guess I rolled them a little too small. But thanks for posting this wonderful recipe and I look forward to making them for many years to come. :) Practice makes perfect!

  2. You know, I’m so glad that I have you to do my recipe tweaking for me! I have always shied away from french toast casseroles for that exact reason – now this hasn’t made my life torture or anything LOL – but it is a convenient dish and this is a great solution – the ciabatta is also a sturdy bread so that’s another good idea! Love TJ’s ciabatta – just delicious and better than mine!

  3. Is any maple syrup supposed to be mixed in with the eggs? Wondering if that step is missing.

    • Janel Piersma says:

      Good catch! Yes, the 2 tablespoons of maple syrup are supposed to be mixed in to the egg mixture. We’ve updated the directions. Thanks!

  4. I’ve tried the make ahead french toast recipe with ginger and almonds. It was delicious and enjoyed by the family (although I did leave a plain section for the picky one). I froze one and it didn’t last but one night in the freezer after we enjoyed the first pan. Definitely want to make 2 pans of this too. I also tried it with some frozen blueberries over the top which we liked a bit more than the dried fruit combination. Thanks for the recipe! We’ve enjoyed it.

  5. Nia Hanna says:

    I make a version of baked french toast too. I got my recipe while watching the TODAY show several years ago. I used store-bought sourdough the first time around. But since discovering Five Minute Bread I like to use that especially when there’s leftover bread to be used up.

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