This recipe appears in:Sunday Brunch: Make Ahead Maple Baked French Toast
Note: This recipe is best when assembled the night before and baked the next morning (allowing time for the custard to soak into the bread). It can be baked the same day by preheating the oven to 350°F when you start assembling it and baking immediately after assembled.
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- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 loaf Italian bread (about 1 pound), roughly torn into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 pound cooked crumbled bulk breakfast sausage (optional)
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup maple syrup, divided
- 1/2 cups sliced almonds
Using 1 tablespoon butter, grease a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Toss bread with sausage (if using), then transfer to baking dish. Whisk together milk, eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla, and 1/4 cup maple syrup. Pour milk mixture over bread, pressing bread down into mixture with a wooden spoon to absorb.
Mix together remaining butter, sugar, and maple syrup then add almonds. Scatter almond mixture over bread, cover, and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, bake on the middle rack of a preheated 325°F oven until bread has begun to brown and almonds are toasted, about 35 minutes.