Pouring the half-and-half mixture onto the bread
This recipe is easier than any other French toast recipe we've seen; it does take a bit of planning ahead, but once you've sliced the bread and left it to soak overnight all you have to do is groggily pop it in the oven when you wake up, and 40 minutes later you've got hot, crispy, gooey French toast. We made this for our New Years celebration, but since I was too busy last weekend getting my lab manual ready to write a food post, this is this week's end-of-the-week recipe blogging post.
Hot out of the oven
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup (or honey)
1 1/2 cups half-and-half (or 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound bread (something like French bread, challah, or ciabatta; don't use bread that has already been sliced for sandwiches)
1. Slice the bread into ~1-inch thick slices (or whatever thickness will allow you to fill a 9x13" baking pan in a single layer).
2. Heat the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup (or honey) in a small pot over medium heat, stirring regularly, until they are combined.
3. Pour the brown sugar mixture into a 9x13" baking dish.
4. Place the bread into the baking dish, pressing it lightly into the brown sugar mixture.
4. Mix the eggs, half-and-half (or milk and cream), vanilla, and salt in a bowl, and then pour over the bread.
5. Cover and let sit overnight (8 or more hours) in the fridge.
6. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 40 minutes, or until browned.
7. Serve immediately; we invert the slices so the brown sugar mixture is on top.
We found this recipe online years ago, and have long since lost the link to the source.
Update April 2007: Added honey as an alternate for the corn syrup.