French Toast Casserole

In my attempt to wean my family off cold cereal, I’ve gathered a nice collection of breakfast recipes. Now if I could just keep milk and eggs in the house I would be all set. We run out all the time, I need to either plan better or get some chickens and a cow.

I have lots of blogging friends who post their menus every week. In fact, Laura, over at I’m an Organizing Junkie, runs a Menu Monday blog each week. She posts her menu for the week (along with links to recipes) and then has a place where other moms can add a link to the menu on their blog. This week over 100 people had posted links to their sites. Wow! Now, I do NOT have time to look over 100+ menus by random strangers but it does give me pause and cause me to wonder if there is perhaps something to the whole menu thing.

My SHS friend, Lisa, even posted a blog just for ME on the subject of menu planning. It’s a pretty good friend who will dedicate a whole blog just to your homemaking struggles. :)

Joshua LOVES it when I plan out the meals. It means there will be a steady supply of good food headed his way. He is my most appreciative customer (can you call your children customers??). Of course, his vulnerability in this area opens him up to be tortured at my hands. It usually goes something like this:

Joshua: Mom, what’s for dinner?
Mom: Um, I don’t know. I haven’t decided.
Joshua: Mom, it’s 2 o’clock and I haven’t eaten for a whole hour.
Mom: Yeah, we’ll have a snack at 3:30 pm.
Joshua: Okay, that sounds good. But [long pause] what’s for dinner?
Mom: I’m not sure. Check with me in an hour.

Hee, hee, hee. This can go on all afternoon, providing hours of entertainment. It’s such fun to see him wrestle with conflicting aspects of hunger and respect. He knows not to fuss (“yeah, how about you make dinner tonight, buddy!”) but really, really wants me to give him something delicious to look forward to. Of course, the fact that you can practically see him growing does make me a bit sympathetic. Also, he is more than willing to help out in any way he can, from preparing the breakfasts in the morning (as long as I leave instructions and ingredients nearby) to approving or rejecting meal ideas.

Since I am just a baby-stepper in the world of home organization, I decided to take things in small doses. I figured I could handle two days of menu planning at a time. Plus, that is all that would fit on my chalkboard pantry door.

chalkboard door

Ahem, Don’t look too closely at Thursday’s dinner item. Maybe I need to spend some time at Laura’s menu blog after all. Help me out here, people!

I have about 4 or 5 recipes for Baked French Toast in my little breakfast folder. They are all pretty similar – bread, topped with eggs and milk, chilled overnight and baked in the morning. The kids LOVE any and all versions of this recipe so it’s always an easy crowd pleaser. The older ones will often help in the prep (anything to stay up a little later and avoid bedtime).

I use whatever loaf of bread I have on hand. Often I hit the day old, reduced shelf at the grocery store. I prefer whole wheat but will occasionally allow white bread to cross the threshold into our home.

loaf of breadchopping breadbowl of bread

I’ve tried both mixing the egg/milk mixture into the bread (stirring it altogether) and then pouring it into the pan, OR putting the cubed bread into the pan and then pouring the milk/egg mixture over the bread. I don’t like the bread to dry out during baking so I want it to be covered/soaked. Unfortunately, when you mix the bread and liquids together it gets rather soggy. I’m not sure which technique yields a better casserole. Or if you can even picture what in the world I’m talking about. Not important. This time I followed the recipe (go figure). I’ll report back tomorrow.

eggseggs, vanilla and milkmixing it all together

The recipe called for brown sugar but I was out. I used Sucanat (Sugar Cane Natural) instead. One of the other recipes has you boil brown sugar, corn syrup and butter and then pour it into the pan. This seems like way too much work to me. I have yet to try it. Still, it sits in my breakfast folder taunting me. I might have to just remove the whole recipe. Since my children are just going to pour maple syrup over top of the whole concoction, I don’t really see the point in overloading the recipe itself with a lot of sugar.

sucanatbutter sugar AND butter

Here comes the controversial – bread and milk/egg decision. Mix the liquid ingredients INTO the bread, thereby insuring even soaking and distribution of the milk and eggs, or follow the recipe which says to pour the mixture OVER the bread. This is right up there with questions about Calvinism vs. Arminianism. Serious stuff. I don’t know how I’ll sleep tonight. Oh, wait. It’s so late, I’m practically sleep blogging right now.

pouring in the eggs

The recipe said to sprinkle with cinnamon but I violated my no extra sugar rule and used my cinnamon/sugar shaker. Sigh. It’s all about the small compromises.

final product

Place in fridge overnight and leave instructions for baking with the early riser. I’m NOT the first one up in my family. Joshua is my definite morning child and, since he is also the one who is highly motivated to have a hearty breakfast, he’s very cheerful to help with breakfast.

By the time I come down, there will be an almost empty casserole dish and some sticky, but happy children. Now if I can just be sure they save out a portion for Tim.

Baked French Toast Casserole

1 large loaf bread, cubed
6 tbs butter, melted
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 1/4 tsp cinnamon
5 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix sugar, cinnamon and melted butter together. Spread on bottom of 9 x 13 pan.

Place bread on top of mixture in double layers.

Beat egg, milk and vanilla together. Pour over bread and let soak.

Sprinkle with cinnamon all over, cover and refrigerate over night.

Bake the next day at 350 for 30-40 minutes, until browned.


Project 365 – Day 156

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8 thoughts on “French Toast Casserole”

  1. Yummy! I like the progressive pictures..helps us see what your doing..I’ve got a recipe for something similar but it’s called Bread Pudding. The topping is a rum topping. Funny how us Southerners can call it something completely different yet it’s the exact same thing! (Case in point: bedroom shoes and a housecoat!!!!) Loved the menu idea – very clever but then you actually have to plan something… When my kids ask “what’s for dinner?” I tell them “food.” Not an encouraging response, eh? Keep up the pictures though. What’s for dinner tomorrow?

  2. YUM! That looks great! We also have a few kids around here who would really like to know what’s for dinner and one in particular who would like to know before she leaves for work in the a.m. so she can decide if she’d rather go to a friends or eat in town (LOL). I LOVE doing the dinner served meals so I have something in the freezer for the days when I’m just too busy to cook something…. well… last night dh discovered the freezer had somehow become unplugged.. Now I have THREE problems. 1. A HUGE mess to clean up. 2. No dinners already prepared. 3. Out hundreds of $$s…. ugh….

  3. This is Bess.

    Joshua’s conversation with you sounds an awful lot like some of mine with my mom. Or yea, about a 1/2 hour after a meal I’m rummaging around in the cupboards and fridge already! LOL

  4. We’d love to have you join us! Two days this week, maybe 5 next :)

    I have no idea how I ever survived without menu planning, it has been a lifesaver for me!


  5. That’s a good start and the casserole sounds great! I tried Lisa’s muffin recipe today and it was a huge hit with everyone.

    Menu Monday is really neat! I signed up and will try to keep up with those ladies. I don’t have a lot of time but I could just click on a few blogs each week for recipe ideas. I’m hoping to have 4 month long menus planned so that I won’t need to think much any longer!LOL

    I LOVED Daniel’s new suit! My ds always loved to dress up for church. It’s been hard to keep him in clothes lately because of his continuous growing.LOL

  6. Now there’s a Menu Monday blog ring that I’m supposed to keep up with? And read all these summer books that I can’t plan ahead of time to save my life?

    I think I NEED French Toast Casserole. Covered with chocolate.

    Do any of your recipes call to replace some of the milk with orange juice? If not, you should try it . . . My problem is that I never seem to cook this type of food long enough and it’s soggy still in the middle.


  7. As you Kathy . . . I am so far behind in my emails . . . I am only at June 6th . . anyways, I just read your recipe for the French Toast Casserole and it looks yummy. I am definiatly going to try it when we are back at home for more than a couple days :-)

    Since we are traveling so much this summer I am keeping as little food as possible in the house!

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