Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup

Total Time:
9 hr
20 min
8 hr
40 min

6 to 8 servings

  • 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
  • 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

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.

Praline Topping:

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. Makes enough for Baked French Toast Casserole.

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    2413 Reviews
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    Wonderful recipe. Huge hit with the family and guests. I did not read any of the reviews and made it exactly as Paula describes...except I could not make it the night before and let it sit in the refrigerator for 8 hours. I made it in the morning, let it sit 2-3 hours before baking, and served it as part of an Easter brunch after church. Absolutely perfect. (Yes, it's a little "soggy". It's bread pudding for crying out loud!)
    A tasty treat, but needed more cooking time. I also cut back the butter, but when the bread rose in the pan, I had no drip pan and Easter morning the house was filled with smoke because the butter spilled over the edges. I love Paula's recipes?this might need Bobby's take.
    Thanks Paula this has become a favorite dish of my family :)
    My daughter has a nut allergy so I'd like to make this without the pecans. Does anyone know if it would still turn out ok? Any tips on how to modify the topping? Thanks!
    I made mine with half with nuts and half without nuts,(some family members don't like them), still tasty. Just check that cooking time.
    I made this recipe yesterday for brunch. I followed the recipe exactly, except that after reading many of the reviews, I used only 1 stick of butter in the praline topping. I bought a new Corningware French White 9 x 13 pan that is probably about 3" deep. I baked the dish covered with foil for 40 minutes @ 400 degrees and then removed the foil and reduced the heat to 350 degrees for 20 minutes. As my company was late arriving, I then just turned off the oven and left the dish in until we were ready to eat, about 45 minutes later. The recipe turned out great. And it didn't spill over, probably because of the extra deep pan. I do agree with others that it is more like a bread pudding. I reheated leftover pieces today in the microwave for 30 seconds each and it was just as good. I would definitely make this recipe again.
    This was excellent the first time I made it exactly as written. The second time I made it with torn up croissants and added 1 teaspoon of maple extract and 1/2 teaspoon cardamon. OH MAN! It was so decadent with the praline topping. It's my absolute go to when I have overnight guests or if I bring something to a pot luck brunch.
    Can someone tell me how to print this out?
    There is a red Print button on the left hand side in a column that has Save, Email and other buttons with it
    This is now expected of me at every group lake trip. Getting to prep some of it the night before and sleeping in is a huge bonus.
    One of her best recipe to do!! Love it as is You go girl !!
    I woke up and remembered that I had promised this to my family this morning. The recipe said that it needed to sit overnight BUT it does not. Instead I soaked the bread in the egg/milk mixture for a few minutes before putting it in the baking dish. Then followed the instructions from there. It was not soggy at all! It was absolutely amazing!
    made this for Valentine's Day at the office, it was a big hit! Delicious. Followed some advice of reviews and only used 1 stick of butter for praline, which was perfect. I baked it for 1 hour at home and heated up another 15 minutes at the office and it was well done. i used a slightly larger glass pan than a 9x11. Was worried that bread was not touching sides, but in the morning the bread soaked up all liquid and spread out to the sides. No spill over. This recipe is a keeper!
    Very disappointed. My husband and I made this on a Saturday night and I could not wait for the next morning so I could eat this ( I'm 5 months pregnant). We followed the recipe to a tee and it was very soggy. I put it back in the oven for 20 min at 350, still soggy then again at 375 for 20 minutes. It was nothing to write home about. I never have any problems with following recipes on food network and everything always turns out. I'll try it again since the reviews were ridiculously good but it's a shame we ended up tossing out the left overs.
    I think the recipe is missing a step. I find that if you cut the slices a day in advance and leave out to get stale, then the bread won't be too soggy.
    I made this for our staff breakfast. Everyone loved it.. It was not soggy, I followed the recipe to a tee..
    After reading a lot of the love or hate reviews... I can see how a line like that can be drawn. This basiclally is a bread pudding, people are silly to expect it to be anything else with the egg custard mixture. It isn't the typical french toast, but I think thats the point of making something like this. For it to be different. To make it somewhat "healthier" I used cooking spray for the baking dish, fat free half and half, and omitted a stick of butter. I think the butter could be cut back even a bit more because it seemed a little greasy still... and I could also see whole wheat bread working with this recipe. All in all it was pretty good, nothing amazing. I wont be repeating it, but it was fun to try!
    Out of this world good! My variation uses Costco bread. Type of bread will make a big difference. I use the two Costco bread loaves sliced 1" thick. I increase the eggs to 12 and keep the rest of the liquids the same. I press each side of every slice into the egg mix to soak up the liquid. I then layer into a larger pan. The next morning I will press the slices again/each side into the egg mix. I was left with minimal liquid in the pan. I also reduced praline to using 1 stick of butter and sprinkled over the pan. The Costco bread will create a wonderful crusty edge and it retains more of a french toast texture. Other softer breads will create more of a bread pudding. All good, you just have to know which style you want. Baked 1 hour at 350. WONDERFUL!
    There's lots of bread at Costco, which kind??
    I just made and brought this in today for my group of classmates for breakfast and everyone love it!! It was a bit gooey in the center but it just reminded me of any other breakfast bake, not all of it can be nice and crispy without burning parts. I did follow some advice from other reviews such as halving the butter for the praline topping which worked out just fine. I also baked it for nearly an hour at 400 with it covered for the first 30-40 minutes and without a cover the rest of the cooking time. It raised up significantly and I only used a normal 13x9 pan. I'm glad I put a sheet pan underneath to catch what dropped. After taking it out it does deflat to fit in the pan just fine. Overall a great experience, just wished the cooking directions were correct on the recipe.
    My parents had 12 members of my family over for brunch, and this was by far the crowd favorite - everyone went back for seconds. Please note, however, that it was in the oven for about an hour at 350 and for another 20 minutes while the oven was off so don't expect it to be completely done in 40 minutes.
    Delicious! I cut the butter in half - still tastes great!
    This was so good and all my guests loved it. After 40 minutes the topping had not all melted so I set it under the broiler on low to get nice and gooey. It was like a tasty cinnamon roll. Perfect for a brunch party.
    Very yummy for ladies brunch! I followed French toast recipe but before baking, I discarded excess liquid and baked for full hour. For pecan topping, only used one stick of butter. Was perfect !
    It's a hit with my family!
    Better than I expected! I followed the french toast recipe. I did omit a stick of butter and the nuts for the topping. I can't imagine anyone would want the syrup, but I did serve alongside.
    Delicious! Used challah bread & upped the bake time to 1hour. Big hit!
    My mom saw a recipe like this on TV and wanted to try it for Christmas morning breakfast. It was delicious and a very big hit. We left out the nutmeg and used a 17 oz French loaf. Everyone loved it. Prepped the night before and then baked while we opened presents, perfect timing. We did not make the Praline Topping, instead we baked it without and then served topped with this Warm Berry Sauce: from another foodie recipe. It was a perfect combination!
    I was so excited to make this for Christmas Morning and searched for the perfect recipe. Im sure this tastes delicious if the rite information is given so that you can actually make the dish. I put this in the oven for the exact time and temperature and the dish was no where near done when I took it out of the oven. I put it back in and the top was beginning to crust and burn. When i pulled it out the top was hard and the inside was VERRY soggy. Whats most frustrating is realizing now you have to waste and throw out so much food on a day like Christmas. You would think that more accurate information would be provided. What a huge disappointment.
    I had the very same results. It sounded so good and I ended up throwing the entire casserole in the trash. Not sure what I did wrong. I followed the recipe to the letter.
    The same thing happened to me. I even put extra bread in the pan because I think mine was 9 1/2x13 and it still came out very soggy. There was sooo much liquid still in pan after the reccomended cooking time. I think it was from all the butter that is in the topping because the excess liquid looked really greasy. Even after dumping out a lot of the liquid (after 40 minutes) and cooked it some more it was very soggy. it was also very eggy.I'll be making some changes next time.
    what people need to realize is this is a French toast casserole and it is not supposed to be dry on the is supposed to be moist and sort of soggy!
    "Amazing! I cut the butter down to 1 1/4 sticks for the pecans. We used challah, which was perfect. I had to use dark syrup for the nuts, but they were still delicious. I covered it with foil and baked it for 45 minutes at 400. Then I took the foil off and lowered the temperature to 350 and baked for another 15-20 minutes. Perfect! This recipe is a keeper.
    Made it for the first time. It was absolutely delicious. I agree that it needs to bake longer. It was slightly soggy, but still delicious.
    I've made this every Christmas for the past four years and it always turns out amazing. I add some orange zest/orange juice. Some people comment about it being too wet. The solution is to cook it a bit longer than what she says, up to 20 minutes. You can also put less egg mixture, but I haven't found that to be necessary.
    So good! All the family loved it for Christmas morning
    Fabulous, Plan on baking this Christmas morning, just like last year! So delish, my husband who doesn't like regular french toast, could not get enough, he said it was the best breakfast he ever had, all of the kids loved it too!
    Before baking, I added 4 cubed and browned granny smith apples (I added half of the butter and half of the brown sugar from praline mixture to the cubed apples and cooked over med to med-high heat for 10-15 mins and then cooled the mixture) between the two layers of soaked bread before baking at 375 degrees for 50-60 mins. The bread needs to rise slightly before its done. I also added half the pecans to the middle of the 2 bread layers and covered the top with foil the last 15 mins of baking to keep the praline pecans from burning. Very tasty, but not for people who don't like a sweet breakfast. This is almost like an apple pancake but easier to make since most of the work can be done beforehand the night before.
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