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Make-Ahead French Toast Casserole
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serves 6-8


1 tablespoon butter for buttering the pan
1 loaf of whole grain baguette, challah or French bread, stale
8 eggs
2 cups half and half
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
1 pinch cinnamon (optional)
2 bananas (don’t slice until morning)
2-3 tablespoons raw sugar (slightly bigger crystals than regular sugar)

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Make-Ahead French Toast Casserole
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Butter a 9˝ x 13˝ baking pan. Glass or ceramic yield the best results.
If your bread is fresh, slice and toast in a 325 degree oven for 20 minutes. Lay the stale or toasted slices one on top of the other so that they overlap until the bottom of the pan is covered. Leave enough room for the custard to reach high enough to cover and soak all the bread without spilling over the sides of the pan.
Whisk together the eggs, half and half, milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract. Add optional cinnamon if using. Pour the custard mixture over the bread in the pan and cover tightly with foil or an airtight lid. Store in the refrigerator to set up overnight.
The next morning, preheat the stove to 350 degrees. Take the pan out of the fridge.
Slice the bananas on the diagonal into ½-inch-thick slices. Carefully lift the custard-soaked slices of bread using a knife or offset spatula and slip the banana slices between the slices of bread. Bake until puffy and the center seems somewhat firm. This should take about 40 minutes (start checking at 30 minutes). About two or three minutes before serving from the oven, pull the pan out and sprinkle the raw sugar over the top. Then return the pan to the oven until the sugar glistens. Serve fresh from the oven with maple syrup.

Per serving: 303 calories, 15g fat, 7g sat fat, 31g carbohydrates, 11g protein, 277mg sodium, 2g fiber

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