French toast is something that either you love or you hate, there doesn’t seem to be an in between area. At least, not in my house because two of my girls love it and the other wouldn’t eat it if she was starving. I’ve tried everything to get her to eat it too, I’ve swirled with cinnamon, I’ve topped with powdered sugar, I’ve tried so many things that I had finally given up, until the day I made cinnamon baked french toast, and then the heavens opened and she saw the light!
Until we went gluten free and it ruined her. I accepted the challenge, and have finally come up with a gluten free cinnamon baked french toast dish that she loves so much, she eats it cold right out of the fridge. Weird? I think so.
The first time I made this recipe, I got it from Food Network and used a crusty french bread that I got from Kroger and it was so good that there was complete silence at the table. Silence! That never happens with girls, especially since they all try to talk over each other and out do the other with stories of why this and why that …girls are fun like that.
As I set upon making this gluten free, I found that although gluten free bread is dense, it didn’t soak up the liquid correctly and wasn’t that good, and boy was it a bummer. One day, I was standing in my kitchen trying to figure out why my Sally Lunn bread didn’t work when I got an idea, because I’m usually just chock full of ideas. Really, you can ask my momma.
I got excited and thought I’d give it a try and the results were so fantastic that I had to make it again before I put it here, just to make sure it wasn’t some kind of kitchen anomaly or freak accident – but it wasn’t so I give you the secret …are you ready for it? Glutino sandwich bread mix.
As you can see from the picture below, the bread cubes soak up the liquid gold and it bakes up almost like a bread pudding, or soft cake and you cannot tell that it started with cubes of bread, except for on the top.
It really starts as a baking dish full of bread cubes, like seriously. When you put it together, it goes into the fridge for about 8 hours and magic happens! What I did was assemble it in the morning so it was ready for dinner, because we all know how much we love brinner over here, don’t we? Breakfast for dinner is the best …my favorite anytime. Brinner.
Before you make this recipe, just fire up your trusty bread machine on the sweet setting – mine has a gluten free setting but I found that it was better when I used the sweet setting on my Cuisinart. Why? I really do not have the answer, but I’ve made it on that setting three times now and it’s really good and the center is nice and done all of the way through, which didn’t happen on my gluten free setting, sorry Cuisinart, but it just didn’t. That must be why this recipe turned out so well, because I didn’t follow directions. Funny how that happens to me, I don’t follow directions and end up with magic. Think I should start doing everything wrong?
- Butter, for greasing
- 1 loaf Glutino Sandwhich Bread - cut into cubes
- 8 whole eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup whipping (heavy) cream
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup gluten free flour
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces, plus more for serving
- Grease a 9X13 in baking pan with butter.
- Tear the bread into chunks, or cut into cubes, and evenly distribute in the pan.
- Crack the eggs in a big bowl.
- Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla.
- Pour evenly over the bread.
- Cover the pan tightly and store in the fridge until needed (overnight preferably).
- Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt in a separate bowl.
- Stir together using a fork.
- Add the butter and with a pastry cutter, and mix it all together until the mixture resembles fine pebbles.
- Store in a re-sealable plastic bag in the fridge.
- When you're ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the casserole from the fridge and sprinkle the topping over the top. Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture or for 1 hour or more for a firmer, crisper texture.
This recipe was is a gluten free adaptation of The Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Baked French Toast Recipe found here.