I was looking in my bread box and realized that I had bits and pieces of different breads that would only be suitable as chicken food in a day or two. What could I make to use them up? I looked through a couple of my cookbooks and found a recipe for Baked French Toast in The Pioneer Woman Cooks A Year of Holidays. As usual I adapted the recipe to what I had available. So what I had was leftover heals, a couple of hamburger buns and I think even a little bit of corn bread I had made to go with some pea soup we had. Every time you make this it will be a little bit different because of the breads you use and the additional things you decide to add.
Let me state that you need to make this ahead of time, preferably the night before. The bread needs time to soak up all the yummy egg and milk mixture before it is baked. This is great if you are having company or need to get out of the house for some reason in the morning. You just pull the bake out of the refrigerator and bake it while you are doing other things.
First you will tear all your leftover bread into bite size chunks. If you want to be fancy you can cut them but I like the more rustic look of the torn bread. Chose a baking dish that will hold all of the bread. The recipe works best for a 13 x 9 inch dish so make sure you have enough bread to fill it.
As you can see from the picture I have added things to my bread but that is purely optional. Here I have added dried cranberries and some chopped pecans. Diced apples, raisins, chopped walnuts, or just about anything that your family likes work well as additions to this dish.
Next you will want to make the egg custard mixture.
This is where I referred to Ree's recipe for the ratios on the milk and eggs. As the note implies you are making a sort of custard mixture with eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla. I have also added cinnamon and nutmeg to my mixture because that is the traditional french toast flavors for my family.
Once the custard mix is poured over the bread mix the whole thing needs to be refrigerated, as I said, preferably overnight. Make sure to cover it for this part.
Here is the full recipe as I made it this time. Like I said it is different every time I make it. It is also really good with blueberries in the bread and blueberry syrup over the top to serve.
I hope you enjoy this little taste of heaven using some of your "going stale" bread. There is not a picture of this baked because the house smells so good when it is baking that I couldn't keep from diving into it.