The Dish | Overnight French Toast

When we want a special breakfast and know we won’t have time to prepare it in the morning, overnight French Toast (adapted from the New York Times) is my go-to. It is great for a crowd and the recipe is easily scalable and infinitely flexible. Sometimes, I change the spices or make a savory variation. While the French toast is in the oven, throw on some bacon or scrambled eggs for a complete breakfast.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for baking dish
  • 1 pound enriched bread, such as brioche, challah or panettone sliced ¾-inch thick (Trader Joe’s brioche is our go-to)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2½ cups whole milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg and/or cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Maple syrup, for serving
  • Butter a 2-quart baking dish. Butter the front sides of the slices of bread and shingle the slices upright in the dish, overlapping as necessary. 
  • In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salt until well combined. Pour the milk mixture over the bread and press the bread gently to absorb. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap. Bake until puffed, golden and set in the center, 50 to 60 minutes. While baking, if the top begins to get too dark, tent with foil. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve with berries and maple syrup.

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