Easter Bread Baked French Toast

5 04 2016

My hubs fam makes a delicious Easter bread similar to the Italian sweetened bread, Panettone. This thick, dense bread is just perfect for baked french toast! And because the bread itself it already sweetened, you don’t need extra sugar. To make this casserole more savory for dinner, I topped it with breakfast sausage browned with a little cayenne before baking. Love enjoying breakfast for dinner, especially when leftovers can be gobbled up the next morning too!

Easter Bread Baked French Toast

The following makes a 9×13 casserole (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 8-10 cups cubed Easter bread (or Panettone or other sweetened bread)
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 oz mascarpone or cream cheese
  • Butter
  • 1 lb ground breakfast sausage
  • Cayenne pepper

Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×13 casserole dish. You could also use non-stick spray.

With a whisk, beat milk, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl until combined. Add the cubed bread and toss to combine. Pour bread and liquid in the greased casserole dish and add dollops of mascarpone or cream cheese all over and in between the bread. It doesn’t have to be perfect and if the bread starts to tear and get mushy don’t worry about it! Cover with foil and store in the fridge overnight, or at least 8-10 hours.

Brown the breakfast sausage with a little cayenne pepper, breaking up in small pieces as it cooks. Store in a covered container in the fridge until you’re ready to bake the casserole.

When ready to bake, top the casserole with the browned breakfast sausage and preheat the oven to 350. Bake uncovered for 50 minutes to an hour. I keep the sausage separate and only add to the top (rather than mixing it in) to keep it crispy, which adds another layer of texture to the baked french toast.

Top with your fav maple syrup before serving (my go to is organic maple agave syrup).

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Pretzel and Breakfast Sausage Strata

27 07 2014

Here is another delicious, and super easy Orlando pretzel bun recipe. Serve Orlando pretzel hamburger and hot dog buns at your next cookout, then use the leftover buns the next morning for breakfast in this savory strata! These pretzel buns have between 7-9 grams of protein, making them a great addition to your breakfast or brunch menus.

Strata is a baked egg and bread dish, often with meat and/or cheese, and resembles a bread budding of sorts. My Mom has made a rendition of this strata for years, my most recent memory is for the morning of my wedding. As I made this today, I couldn’t help but think of the house filled with the smell of homemade breakfast, as all the gals ran around getting ready! Thanks, Mom, for always making sure I have a delicious home cooked meal (even well into adulthood), and for the basis of this yummy recipe!

I didn’t make this version with cheese, as I opted to top it with organic maple agave syrup instead, for the perfect salty and sweet bite. You could of course, top with a cheese of your choice before you bake instead.

Pretzel and Breakfast Sausage Strata

The following makes a 9 x 13 pan (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 4 leftover Orlando Pretzel Buns, split in half and cubed (I used 2 hamburger and 2 hot dog)
  • 1 lb bulk sausage, pork or turkey, or 12 breakfast patties – for my Fresh Fork friends, I used FF sausage and uncured bacon breakfast patties
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Sprinkle black pepper
  • Organic Maple Agave Syrup for garnish

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and break up with a wooden spoon. If you’re using the breakfast patties, cube the meat up first to make it easier to break apart. Cook meat until browned and continue to crumble with the wooden spoon as it cooks. Transfer browned sausage to a paper-towel lined plate to soak up the grease.

Meanwhile, spray a 9 x 13 pan with non-stick spray. Cube the pretzel buns and place evenly in the bottom of the pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, Worcestershire and sprinkle of pepper. Do not season with salt, as the sausage will be salty enough.

Once the sausage is cool enough to handle, sprinkle it evenly over the cubed bread and top everything with the egg mixture. Using your hands, gently press the bread down so that it’s all coated with the egg mixture.

Bake 35-40 minutes, or until the eggs are set. Remove from the oven and let sit 5 minutes before serving. Slice into single servings and remove with a spatula. Top with a little maple syrup and enjoy.

You can make this a day in advance and bake the morning you want to serve. Just prep it all and store covered in the fridge. Bring to room temp before baking, or, bake a little longer if you put it in the oven cold.

More This Girl recipes featuring Orlando’s Pretzel Buns:

* Buns received courtesy of Orlando Baking Company. All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.