When I make French toast for two, I fry it. No explanation needed. Frying is simply superior, but hovering over the stovetop cooking up a batch to feed an army? That’s a recipe for me to space out and inevitably burn something. So here is French toast for a crowd, baked, crispy at the edges, each slice done at the same time, and topped with fried bananas.
Start by slicing a whole loaf of challah bread or brioche into 1-inch thick slices.
Then beat almost a whole carton of eggs with a pint of light cream, cinnamon, and really good vanilla. I’m obsessed with top shelf vanilla extract. I’ve been using Sonoma Syrup Co.’s No. 4 Vanilla Extract, and it really is worth the price (though I’m biased because I got it at a pretty big discount…teehee).
Look at those specks of cinnamon. Mmmmm. Now it’s time to dip. Dipping time is the best time. Dunk one slice at a time into the egg mixture, letting it soak up the liquids. If your bread is particularly dense, poke holes in it with the tongs of a fork before dipping. Layer the slices in a parchment lined baking tray or casserole dish.
See, that’s a LOT of French toast. Sprinkle on some more cinnamon and pop it in the oven. While the French toast is baking, slice up three, four, or five bananas. Basically however many overripe bananas you need to get rid of. You can always use “good” bananas too. I just always happen to have overripe ones. ‘Tis my fate.
And… fry them!
In butter of course. Or Earth Balance. Or coconut oil. PLEASE NOT VEGETABLE OIL.
Serve with fried bananas and real maple syrup. I’ve had to slap a few hands reaching for the Aunt Jemima in my day.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Slice bread into 1-inch thick slices.
- Whisk eggs, light cream, cinnamon, and vanilla extract together in a large bowl.
- Soak each slice of bread in the egg mixture until fully soaked through, but not for too long or else the bread may start to crumble. If your bread is dense, poke holes in it with the tongs of a fork before dipping. This will help it soak up the egg mixture.
- Layer the dipped slices in parchment lined baking trays or casserole dishes. Bake for 20-25 minutes. If your trays are on separate oven racks, you can switch them at the halfway point for even baking.
- Meanwhile, slice up 3-5 bananas and fry them in melted butter over medium heat until the bananas begin to caramelize.
- When the French toast is done, the center of each slice will puff up ever so slightly in the oven. Take it out and serve immediately. If the slices are stuck together, simply slice them apart with a serrated knife (a steak knife will work).
- Serve topped with fried bananas and real maple syrup.