Paula Deen’s French Toast Casserole


Food Network highlighted this recipe last week and it seemed like the perfect idea for breakfast on Easter Sunday. I love Paula Deen’s cooking, and while I know this is far from a healthy option, it makes a gorgeous treat. It’s also easy to make as most of it is prepared the night before. I made a few tiny changes in the spicing, added more nuts and I think next time I would use a bit less butter in the topping, but other than that, it was absolutely perfect. It is very rich, and this casserole would easily serve six or maybe even eight people. It is gorgeous though – crunchy praline topping giving way to soft bread bathed in custardy gorgeousness below.

To be fair, this is a bread pudding – and you could easily serve it for dessert, only I’d rename it ‘Paula Deen’s Praline Bread and Butter Pudding’ in that case. The recipe recommends serving it with maple syrup, and I can see where that would be very nice, but I actually forgot to put it on the table and no one even noticed it was missing.

Here’s my slightly adapted version of Paula’s recipe. You need an 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

butter for greasing the baking dish
1 large loaf of French bread
8 large eggs
2 cups half and half (I used British single cream)
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
dash of salt
Praline Topping (see below)
Maple syrup to serve (we didn’t use it)

Generously butter the baking dish. Slice bread into one inch slices. Arrange the slices in two overlapping rows. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half and half (single cream), milk, sugar, vanilla, spices and salt and beat with a whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour the mixture over the bread carefully, making sure all the slices are well coated. Use a spoon to bathe the bread slices in some of the custard which has sunk to the bottom. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 350℉ (175℃).

Make the Praline Topping

¾ cup butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1½ cups chopped pecans
2 tablespoons corn syrup (or Golden Syrup)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine all the ingredients together. (I used a fork. ) Blend well.

Take the casserole out of the refrigerator and make sure all the bread is well coated with the custard. Spread the Praline Topping over the top of the casserole.

Bake for 40 minutes or until puffy and golden. Serve with or without maple syrup.

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Article by April Harris

April has written 1291 great articles for us.

April is a writer, recipe developer, frequent traveller and blogger sharing travel, food, and style. Based in the south of England, April is a British Canadian who is passionate about family, hearth and home, healthy living (with treats!) and the transformative power of travel.

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