Marla's Overnight Baked French Toast


     Late morning breakfast: French toast, bacon, French press coffee . . . and time to leisurely read the Sunday paper — what a treat! And the best thing, I prepped the French toast last night so just had to pop it in the oven this morning.
    This is my sister’s recipe and we always look forward to it on visits to Texas. Marla’s recipe actually calls for macadamia nuts (which are really yummy) but I usually make it with sliced almonds; any nuts will work.
     I reduced the recipe for us this morning but used to make it in large batches for catering and even included it in The Kirby House Cookbook.

Marla’s Overnight Baked French Toast   About 6 servings
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup whole milk (I made it with almond milk this morning)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 loaf French bread, cut into 1” slices (I use homemade sourdough French bread)
2/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped or slivered nuts (almonds, pecans, macademia nuts, etc.)

1. In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, sugar, nutmeg, orange juice, milk and vanilla; stir well. 
2. Fit bread slices in a single layer into a 13 x 9” baking dish. 
3. Pour egg mixture over bread slices and turn bread to make sure that slices are completely covered with the egg mixture. Let mixture set long enough to absorb liquid or, cover and refrigerate overnight.
A small batch of French toast ready to go into the fridge overnight.
The excess egg-milk mixture will be absorbed by morning.
4. When ready to bake, pour melted butter into a jelly roll pan; place bread slices in a single layer. 
I actually put the butter on the  jelly roll pan,  put it in the oven to melt
and then place the soaked bread on the hot pan -- saves on dishes & mess.
5. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes; sprinkle with nuts and bake another 10 minutes.  (If bread is not brown on the underside when the first 10 minutes are up, it could be turned — if turning, be sure to do this before adding the nuts.)
I almost always turn the toast after the first 10 minutes, add the nuts and then
put back in the oven for another 10 minutes. This photo shows the finished product. 
6. Serve with syrup or spinkle with powdered sugar and freshly ground nutmeg.

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