We’re all still here, and the twins are still tucked in tight. They’ll be making their entrance to the world soon though – more news on that later this weekend – post french toast! My first day of maternity leave and final day of work until the end of July was last Friday, so it’s been a blessedly quiet week here at home. I stayed in the air conditioning throughout the whole of the three-day Thai New Year (Songkran), avoiding any and all water fights with strangers that are part of the holiday. I had enough of that in our first and second years in Bangkok to hold me over. Frank and I went to see a movie about a block away, but only on the condition that we take a cab so I could stay dry. The perks of pregnancy.
We’re hoping to sneak in a post-church Easter brunch on Sunday morning, but I’d be quite happy for breakfast at home as well (and maybe a nap afterwards). Since discovering baked french toast a couple years ago, it’s one of my favorite make-ahead breakfasts. It’s so easy that I’m realizing now, at the eleventh hour, that it should have made a more frequent weekend appearance during this pregnancy.
Better late than never.
This version used whole wheat bread (but any type works), with bananas between the slices (the banana get sweet and tender during baking), and a slightly over-the-top yet simple pecan crumble over the top. Because what breakfast doesn’t benefit from a sweet, crunch, over-the-top crumble?
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
- 1 large day-old baguette (I used whole wheat, but any loaf of bread will work), cut into 1-inch slices
- 2 ripe bananas, thinly sliced
- 6 whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 cups milk
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cups whole pecans
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
- 3 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. Scatter the cubed butter over the bottom of the dish. Arrange bread slices in rows, with slices slightly overlapping. Slide banana slices between the slices of bread.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the whole eggs and egg yolks until well combined. Whisk in the milk, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Pour the liquids over the bread.
- To make the crumble, pulse the ingredients together in a food processor until the pecans are roughly chopped. Scatter the crumble over the french toast.
- Cover with foil and refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight. About 20 minutes before baking, remove the pan from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cover with foil and bake, covered, for 35 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until golden brown and crisp on top, about 15 minutes more.
- Serve immediately and drizzle with syrup, if desired.