Because practically everything can be assembled the night before, this is the perfect dish for entertaining. It’s also appropriately decadent, with a custardy texture similar to bread pudding and sweetness coming from both maple syrup and brown sugar.
The addition of breakfast sausages makes it a one-dish wonder. Lay out a fruit salad, some coffee and juice and your work is deliciously done.
- 1½ day-old baguettes, cut into ¾-inch-thick slices
- 1 (8-ounce) package Applegate Natural Chicken and Maple Breakfast Sausage links OR 1 (11-ounce) package Applegate Natural Peach Jerk Sausage, sliced
- 6 large eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for buttering the pan
- The night before you plan to serve the French toast, butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Arrange the sliced bread in the dish then scatter the sliced sausages over top.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, ½ cup brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg until well combined. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread and sausages.
- Lay a sheet of wax paper over the dish then place another dish on top to weigh down the mixture and keep it submerged in the liquid. Refrigerate overnight.
- The following morning, preheat the oven to 375°F. Combine the cream, butter and remaining ¼ cup brown sugar in a bowl and microwave just until the butter has melted; stir well to combine. (Alternatively, heat the mixture gently in a small saucepan over low heat on the stove.)
- Remove the French toast from the refrigerator and discard the wax paper. Pour the cream mixture evenly over the bread and sausage.
- Bake the French toast until the top is golden brown and the center is custardy, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for about 5 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.
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