Recipe: Cinnamon Toast French Toast

Adapted from the recipe by Deb Perelman, www.smittenkitchen.com.

As the author wrote about this recipe, ““Piles of buttery, cinnamon and caramelized sugar-crusted toast fan out in a pan before absorbing a simple vanilla custard and being baking into puffed, layered breakfast perfection.”

START TO FINISH: 50 minutes

SERVINGS: 6-8

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
16 slices bread from a standard-size, pre-sliced loaf (Hawaiian bread or sourdough preferred)
½ cup butter, softened
3 cups whole or 2% milk
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons real vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Combine cinnamon and sugar together in a small dish. Line two large baking sheets with foil. Place the bread slices on the baking sheets in one layer.
  3. Spread each slice of bread with approximately 1 teaspoon of butter, then sprinkle each slice with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  4. Toast the trays of bread in the oven until the bread is golden, and until the cinnamon-sugar makes a caramelized crunch on top (about 7 to 10 minutes). Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and let the toast cool slightly.
  5. Generously butter a 9×13-inch baking dish. Arrange the cinnamon toast down in two rows along the width of the pan.
  6. Whisk the milk, eggs, salt and vanilla in a medium bowl and pour evenly over cinnamon toast in baking dish. Let sit for 15 minutes (or overnight, if preparing ahead) so that the custard absorbs a bit.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, until puffed and golden and until no liquid seeps out of the toasts.
  8. Cut into squares to serve. Delicious with maple syrup or whipped cream and berries.

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