This Baked French Toast with Mixed Berries is the best easy brunch recipe for entertaining. It's simple to make with challah, fresh berries and topped with a crunchy streusel topping; this makes a delicious breakfast casserole that is certain to please.
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T is officially 16 months old as of last Friday! She is a busy, busy little lady. Always getting into everything. At a play date this past weekend, we looked away for one moment and she got into the family''s baking drawer and dumped out a whole bag of chocolate chips! I was somewhere a between mortified and amused but the other mom was so gracious and laughed it off.
I do this thing to amuse my girls where I curl my fingers on each hand to meet my thumb and form "binoculars" with them and hold them up to my eyes and peer out at the girls. They both get a major kick out of it. A used to shriek and the tell me through her giggles to bring the monster out again.
This only made T love it even more. Unless she's in an extra horrible mood (which is extremely rare) this can pretty much always guarantee me a big, toothy Tessa smile. Lately, she's actually started pulling her hands up to try and mimic my "binoculars." She's still not able to curve her fingers into the exact form but it's awesome to see her making so much progress for a kid her age!
At the begining of August, T will be getting tubes in her ears. We've been going back and forth about this for a while. On one hand we really didn't want to just jump into any major medical procedure. While this is fairly common, there are still risks anytime a person is put under.
But T continued to get ear infections, even into the summer (she just finished up another round of amoxicillin a couple weeks ago) and it became obvious that she wasn't growing out of this thing. We have her pre-op appointments later this week.
I'm trying not to think too much about it, because I know I'm already going to be a basket case on the day of. I'm totally avoiding "Dr. Google." The procedure itself doesn't really bother me, it's more the thought of them having to put her under, even if it's just for fifteen minutes.
I'll be glad when this is all over and my little girl gets some relief. I have to hand it to her- for all the discomfort those infections cause, she really is a trooper and handles it incredibly well.
It's always good to have an easy and delicious, go-to brunch option. My Puff Pastry Breakfast Pizza is my favorite savory go-to but I needed a sweet go to as well. I kicked this around in my head for a while, mostly because the opportunity never presented itself.
This changed a while back when a friend invited us over for brunch. Her sister, mom and Nephew were going to be coming into town from an hour away. He is 2 weeks younger than A and such a cutie- they were so small and now they'e practically teenagers (or at least A certainly acts that way sometimes!).
Anyway, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try making some sort of baked french toast casserole. I did a little research and was inspired by this recipe from Ezra Pound Cake and this recipe from White Lights on Wednesday.
After reading through both, I began mixing together items that I had on hand (I had already picked up a loaf of Challah in eager anticipation of making something). I also knew I wanted to add some berries into the mix and a streusel topping is always a good idea.
Everytime I make this, I continue to be so happy with how this turns out. It is definitely sweet, but the berries add a bright and fresh note and the streusel topping adds a delicious crunch. The inside is custard-y and delicious, like and good french toast should be.
This is not a dish that needs syrup, although if you are a syrup lover, by all mean have at it. A sprinkle of confectioner's sugar might be a pretty addition, although not entirely necessary. I believe this dish is perfect to serve along side other brunch items that have a more savory flavor profile.
Other great brunch options include:
Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes
Baked French Toast with Mixed Berries
Baked French Toast:
- 6 eggs
- 2 ½ cups milk
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups berries of your choice divided (I used raspberries and blueberries)
- 1 loaf stale Challah cut into 1 ½ inch cubes (I cut mine and left it out overnight with a couple pieces of paper towel placed on top)
Alton Brown's Streusel Topping
- ½ cup flour
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- A dash ground nutmeg
- 2 Tbsp. softened butter
Baked French Toast:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray the 9" x 13" baking pan with cooking spray.
- In a separate bowl mix the first five ingredients and whisk until well combined.
- Put half of the Challah pieces into the baking pan and top with half of the berries.
- Then put the rest of the Challah into the pan and top with the rest of the berries.
- Pour your egg mixture evenly over the Challah and berries.
- Top with wax or parchment paper and weigh down with another pan for 10 minutes (I happen to have multiple 9" x 13" pans and I put books in the empty one to weight it, but whatever will fit works).
- Remove the pan and the paper and top the Challah with Streusel topping (recipe below).
- Bake uncovered for around 50 minutes- 1 hour or until nicely browned. Allow at least 20 minutes to cool and then slice and serve.
- Mix all ingredients together until well combined and "crumbly."
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