French toast is always a breakfast treat but if you’re cooking for more than two or three people, it can take quite a bit of time to dip and fry each slice of bread in turn. That’s where this ultimate french toast recipe from Rosie Reynolds’ The Shortcut Cook comes in, with its transformation into a make-ahead one-dish bake that serves six.
Assemble bread, egg mix and blueberries in a baking dish, leave to sit for a while (or overnight), scatter with bacon and bake in a hot oven. To serve, garnish with a crunchy pecan nut topping and serve hot with maple syrup.
Find out more about the cookbook in our full review of The Shortcut Cook.
The Best French Toast Ever
- butter, for greasing
- 6 large eggs
- 200 ml (7 fl oz/scant 1 cup) milk
- 200 ml (7 fl oz/scant 1 cup) double (heavy) cream
- 4 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon mixed spice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) sourdough loaf (or white bread or brioche), cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) cubes
- 200 g (7 oz/1⅓ cups) blueberries
- maple syrup, to serve
For the crunchy topping
- 90 g (3¼ oz/scant ⅔ cup) smoked bacon lardons, finely chopped
- handful of pecan nuts, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of mixed spice
Prep 15 minutes, plus 20 minutes or overnight soaking
Cook 30 minutes
Grease a 20 x 30 cm (8 x 12 in) baking dish with butter. In a bowl or jug, mix the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla extract, mixed spice and salt. Put half of the bread cubes in the baking dish, and pour over half of the egg mixture, pushing down with your fingers to make sure the bread is soaked. Scatter over half of the blueberries. Cover with the remaining bread cubes, egg mixture and blueberries.
Cover the dish with cling film (plastic wrap) and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, or even overnight, while the bread soaks.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/350°F/Gas 4.
Remove and discard the cling film from the dish. Scatter the chopped bacon over the top and bake for 20 minutes.
Mix the rest of the crunchy topping ingredients together, sprinkle over the French toast and return to the oven for 10 more minutes, or until the egg mixture is set and puffy and the nuts are toasty.
Serve with maple syrup.
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Kavey Eats received a review copy of The Shortcut Cook by Rosie Reynolds from publisher Hardie Grant. Book photography by Louise Haggar. Our photography by Jack Thomas.