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
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
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- 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.
- Spread each slice of bread with approximately 1 teaspoon of butter, then sprinkle each slice with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
- 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.
- Generously butter a 9×13-inch baking dish. Arrange the cinnamon toast down in two rows along the width of the pan.
- 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.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until puffed and golden and until no liquid seeps out of the toasts.
- Cut into squares to serve. Delicious with maple syrup or whipped cream and berries.
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