Baked French toast for an army

This make-ahead version of french toast can easily be doubled for a larger crowd, but also cut to size for a selected few..

Assemble the night before and bake as your guests arrive.

Makes12 servings; 2 to 3 slices per serving

  • 1 large baguette, about 60 cm long
  • 2 eggs
  • 250 ml milk (2% or homogenized)
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) salt
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) melted butter
  1. The night before the brunch, cut baguette into 2cm slices. You should have about 28 to 30 slices.
  2. Tightly pack into a 3l glass baking dish, bunching bread close together to fit. Place any pieces that won’t fit in a 23-cm square baking dish.
  3. In a medium-size bowl, whisk eggs until well blended.
  4. Whisk in milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salt.
  5. Pour mixture evenly over bread and turn bread over to fully soak up egg mixture.
  6. Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight.
  7. When ready to bake, place 2 oven racks in centre of oven, at least 8 cm apart.
  8. Preheat oven to 450F (230C).
  9. Brush bottoms of 2 large baking sheets each with 2 teaspoons (10 ml) melted butter.
  10. Place cold, soaked bread slices on baking sheets, mopping up excess egg mixture with any dry-looking bread slices. To ensure french toast browns evenly, spread slices out in a single layer, making sure they are well separated.
  11. Bake in 450F (230C) oven about 8 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven, brush tops of bread with remaining butter, then turn slices over.
  13. Rotate sheets from bottom rack to top rack to promote even browning as bottom sheet usually browns faster than top one.
  14. Continue to bake until crusty and golden brown, from 6 to 8 minutes.
  15. Remove from oven, place on a platter and dust with icing sugar, if you like.
  16. Great served with maple syrup and fruit compote.
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