This challah French toast gets its perky, rise-and-shine vibe from a top layer of egg, orange zest, and brandy. Of course, you could hand dip and pan-fry individual slices of bread, but that takes time and, in my experience, means the cook is the last to eat. So, if you want hands-free French toast that you get to sit down and enjoy hot along with everyone else, French toast casserole is the way to go.
Keyword: casserole, challah, dutch oven, french toast
Author: Chef Sara Furcini
Unsalted butterfor preparing the Dutch oven
11-poundday-old loaf challah breadsliced
1/2cuppure maple syrupplus more for serving (optional)
1tspgrated orange zest
1 1/2cupsfrozen mixed berries
Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously coat the inside of a Dutch oven with butter.
Assemble and bake the casserole. Arrange the bread slices in the Dutch oven, overlapping them. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, half-and-half, maple syrup, brandy, orange zest, and salt to combine. Add the berries. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, making sure to get the liquid between the slices. Cover the pot and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for 10 minutes more. Serve with maple syrup (if using). Refrigerate leftovers for up to 4 days.