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French Toast Bake

Updated: Monday, February 17 2014, 04:09 PM EST
Servings: 12

French Toast Bake
12 cups (about 13 oz) French bread soft, cubed 1 inch
8 Eggs
24 ounces Half-and-Half
1/4 cup Sugar, Granulated
1 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Private Selection Pure Vanilla Extract

Berry Topping
1 cup Sugar, Granulated
1 tablespoon Cornstarch
2 ounces Orange Juice
12 ounces Private Selection Mixed Berries, frozen, unsweetened
3 cups Strawberries, fresh, cut into quarters

Spray bottom and sides of 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. Use a serrated bread knife to easily cut through the bread slices. Slice off and discard the loaf ends, then cut into 1” cubes. Place bread cubes into the dish.

In large bowl, beat together eggs, half-and-half, 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, salt and vanilla with wire whisk until smooth; pour over bread cubes. Cover tightly; refrigerate at least 4 hours but no longer than 24 hours.

Heat oven to 400°F. Uncover dish; bake 25 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean.

As that is baking, start making the Mixed Berry Topping in a 2-quart saucepan, stir together 1 cup sugar and cornstarch. Stir in orange juice, mixing until smooth. Add the Mixed Berries and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, to prevent sticking. Cook for about 6 minutes, until topping is slightly thickened. Remove from heat.

Just before serving, stir strawberries into topping mixture.
Cut French Toast Bake into 12 pieces (3x4), serve on a plate and ladle warm Berry Topping over Bake.French Toast Bake

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LOCAL 12 WKRC-TV Cincinnati - In the Kitchen with Kroger - Sean Schmidt Chef Sean Schmidt
Chef Sean Schmidt was born in Chicago, IL and grew up there until his family relocated to Oldbridge, New Jersey. After 6 years, Sean returned to the Chicago area and attended Plainfield High School. He was then accepted to and graduated from Johnson & Wales University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts.

Sean joined Kroger in 2000 and has served in many capacities in various locations including Chef’s Choice Catering, Anderson Towne Center Kroger Store, and the Lebanon and Middletown Marketplace Stores. Sean’s favorite dishes to prepare are grilled items - meats, vegetables and even desserts. Sean is an Executive Chef at the Centerville Marketplace Store.

Sean likes to garden and spend time with his wife and kids.
LOCAL 12 WKRC-TV Cincinnati - In the Kitchen with Kroger - Christopher Alexander Chef Christopher J. Alexander
Chef Christopher J. Alexander was born in Lubbock, Texas but raised in Xenia, Ohio. He graduated from Xenia High School then attended Sinclair Community College and the New England Culinary Institute.

After working in various 4 star restaurants in locations including New Orleans, Vermont, and The British Virgin Islands, Christopher joined Kroger in 2009 and has served at both the Stroop Road Fresh Fare and Englewood Marketplace. Christopher has been a fan of the culinary arts since elementary school when he would spend time cooking with his grandfather. He loves to cook all foods, Asian, Latina American, Southern and Southwestern American. Christopher says “I am a well versed rounds chef. I can do tradition Bakery baking as well as High end Pastries. I really enjoy butchery and meat fabrication ( primals to sausage). But really find myself at home in an eclectic Euro/American line.”
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