Blueberry Streusel Baked French Toast

Ingredients (Serves 8 to 10)

  • 1 loaf brioche or Italian bread (about 1 pound), cut into 3/4-inch slices
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups fresh blueberries

Streusel topping

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • Maple syrup, for serving

Make the French toast:

  1. Lightly spray a 13- by 9- by 2-inch pan with vegetable spray. Cover the pan with a single layer of bread slices.
  2. Cover the dish with a single layer of bread slices.
  3. Whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla and pour enough of the mixture over the bread to cover it evenly (about half the mixture). Sprinkle half of the blueberries over the bread.
  4. Lay the rest of the bread slices in the dish and pour the remaining egg mixture over them.
  5. Lightly press on the bread slices to insure they are saturated with egg. Let the French toast soak for about 15 minutes or up to 8 hours, covered and refrigerated.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  7. To make the streusel topping: Put the flour, sugar, and oats in a food processor and pulse just to mix. Add the butter, piece by piece, pulsing until the mixture is crumbly.
    Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the French toast. Scatter the remaining blueberries over the streusel.
  8. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until set in the center and the top is golden brown. Serve with maple syrup.

The Right Bread for French Toast

French toast is an ideal way to use up slightly stale bread, those quarter or half loaves languishing in the bread box. While this is practical, when I have a choice, I always suggest using rich, densely crumbed, egg-based brioche or challah. Both breads are gorgeously rich and perfectly textured for soaking up the sweet egg bath.

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