Inn at 7 Central's Baked French Toast
The first year we opened, we served a very different french toast to our guests. It involved cream cheese and bananas and a great deal of prep work (which drove us bananas!). It was good, and our guests liked it, but it wasn't until we discovered this (far easier) recipe and started serving it that guests really started to go crazy with the compliments and ask for the recipe. Sometimes simpler really is better. As Cory's dad used to say, this recipe will "make your tongue flap your brains out". You have to remember that you need to prepare this the day or night before you are going to bake and serve it. This is now a Sunday morning staple at 7 Central, and now it can be at your house too!
1 loaf french bread
8 large eggs
2 ½ cups half and half
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
Brown sugar and cinnamon to top
1/2 stick butter, cut into small patties (plus additional butter for coating the dish)
Butter a 9x13 inch baking pan. Shred bread into cubes and evenly distribute in the pan.
In a large bowl beat together eggs, half & half, sugar and vanilla. Pour over the bread.
Using a spoon or spatula, "tap" down the bread so that every piece gets coated with the liquid. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove from the fridge and sprinkle top liberally with brown sugar and cinnamon, followed by the butter patties.
Bake for 50 minutes, until it puffs up, is bubbly, and slightly browned on top. Serve with maple syrup.