I am always looking for new and delicious recipes to try for Christmas Eve morning and Easter morning: I keep trying to find something that will equal my mom's Christmas Breakfast Casserole ("Served every Christmas morning since 1982!"), something that will become a tradition.
For the past few years, I've been trying things like frittatas and cinnamon rolls, but nothing has clicked, either because of difficulty of preparation, taste, or the number of noses turned skywards at the table. I personally love the taste of a good cinnamon roll, but making them is just awful. Even with the bread machine to make the dough for me, I still hate all that endless fiddling around with butter and cinnamon and rolling them up and then re-rolling them because they look funny and then being tempted to hurl wads of buttery, cinnamon'ed dough at the walls because the dumb things stick to my hands.
Then there was the gorgeous frittata I lovingly prepared, complete with potatoes and sausage and red and green peppers (very Christmas-y) and pulled out of the oven to serve, only to find that it was completely raw in the middle. I have Issues With Eggs and the sight of a runny chicken embryo on my plate can make all the blood in my head evacuate to my feet in a split second.
So anyway, I found this recipe for Overnight French Toast online -- if it's a keeper, I'm going to give it a better name. It is made with easy-to-own ingredients that are common to every pantry and fridge; none of this "take the skin of one Moroccan blood orange and half a cup of truffle, minced fine, from near Aix-in-Provence" stuff for me. It sounds like it will be good, plus it underscores my personal belief about breakfast, which is that it is the Most Important Meal of the Day, Especially When it Includes Fried Bread.
I'll update this post later with a note on how it tastes.
UPDATE: We had this recipe for breakfast this morning with little smoked sausages on the side and I'm happy to announce that it is a keeper! The only modification I want to make is to the bread -- I used our regular oat-bran sandwich bread, but it is too flimsy to stand up to an entire night's worth of soaking in the fridge. This recipe requires something more substantial, slice a little thicker. I'm thinking that French bread would work, but that Italian sweet bread from the Marsh and Kroger bakeries around here would be really, really good. I have changed the recipe below to reflect this modification.
Overnight French Toast
1 cup milk
4 T. sugar (I used brown sugar instead of white)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla
12 slices of bread, sliced thick -- French, sourdough, Italian sweet bread, whatever you prefer (do not use sliced sandwich bread; it is too flimsy and will tear when you lift it out of the baking pan)
In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients except bread. Pour mixture over bread slices on a baking sheet; refrigerate overnight.
The next morning, melt a lump of butter on a griddle; slowly fry bread slices over a moderate heat until golden brown.
Serve on hot plates with syrup and a dusting of powdered sugar.
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