A few weeks ago when we were in Shenandoah, it was the perfect opportunity to make the baked French toast from Baked Explorations -- since folks tend to sleep late when we're at the cabin, it's great that you can make this recipe the night before and just pop it in the oven in the morning. I doubled the recipe and made it in a 9-inch by 13-inch pan, using challah. You arrange slices of bread in a buttered pan, and then pour over a mixture of eggs, half-and-half, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon, letting the mixture soak overnight. The recipe says that in the morning, you should turn over each slice of bread to make sure that it's fully coated in the liquid. But my soaked challah was so soft that it was too fragile to turn. So, I just put the pan in the oven (skipping the step of adding sliced almonds because of a nut allergy), and baked it for 35 minutes.
While the French toast was in the oven, I made the raspberry sauce, which is simply raspberries cooked with sugar until they break down, strained, with a little bit of fresh lemon juice added in. I drizzled all of the sauce and some fresh raspberries over the pan of French toast before serving.
Best of all, this baked French toast was much easier to make than the pan-fried variety, and being able to assemble it the night before was a huge benefit. I would happily make this again, anytime!
Recipe: "Baked French Toast," from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.