Overnight Sheet Pan French Toast
Updated: Jun 3, 2020
With just one dish to clean, this recipe is as joyful to make as it is to devour!
There's nothing like a hot breakfast, but it requires some work and for many that can be understandably too much of a hassle first thing in the morning. Prepping the French toast the night before - and using the sheet pan as the prep bowl - makes the job a breeze. The bread soaks up all the custard by morning, leaving the sheet pan mostly clean for the baking process. Sliced brioche or challah is ideal, but any good bread will do. After I bake a batch of my Traditional Challah each Friday, the leftovers are used for this recipe to make Saturday mornings easy. A little drizzle of equal parts melted butter and sugar creates a caramelized coating so that only a dash of sugar and pile of fruit is needed for garnish. Hold the syrup, and enjoy!
Equipment: cutting board; bread knife; measuring spoons; wet and dry measuring cups; fork; sheet pan; small mixing bowl and spoon or small saucepan and spoon; pastry brush (optional); offset metal spatula
6-8 slices brioche or challah
5-6 large eggs
½ cup half & half (or milk or heavy cream)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark)
powdered sugar for garnish (optional) fresh fruit for garnish (optional)
1. Crack the eggs over a rimmed sheet pan and scramble well with a fork. Add the half & half, vanilla, and cinnamon. Beat with the fork until everything is well combined and a light-yellow custard is made.
ILOC tip: before you break the eggs, place the bread slices in the sheet pan so you can ascertain not only how many slices will fit and thus how many eggs you need - 5 eggs for 6 slices, but 6 eggs for 8 slices - but exactly how you will place them in the pan once you make the custard. It's all about technique, not torture!
2. Place the bread slices on top of the custard, evenly spaced. Stab each piece multiple times with a fork to help the bread absorb the custard. Flip the bread slices over so the other side gets soaked and stab again.
3. Seal with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight.
4. The next morning, preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the sheet pan from the refrigerator. The bread should have absorbed virtually all of the custard.
"You can move the bread around a little like a sponge to soak up any small bits of custard, if necessary."
5. Melt the butter and brown sugar in a small bowl for one minute in the microwave, or over low heat in a small saucepan. Stir well to combine until the butter is fully incorporate into the sugar, like a toffee.
6. Evenly distribute the butter-sugar mixture over the tops of the bread slices. Spread evenly over each slice using the back of the spoon or a pastry brush.
7. Flip the bread slices over so that the toffee-topped side is now touching the pan.
8. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the custard has cooked and the bread is no longer wet.
9. Remove the sheet pan from the oven. Carefully turn each slice using a metal spatula, scraping underneath the bread a few times if needed before turning.
10. Serve the French toast immediately sprinkled with powder sugar and topped with berries.
Makes 4 servings.