The sourdough bread in this french toast casserole gives the right tangy balance to the farm fresh strawberries and streusel topping. The streusel topping adds a layer of texture that can sometimes be missing in a french toast casserole. Adding some chopped almonds or pecans to the top of the streusel topping would take the flavor and crunch to another level. I will definitely be trying this the next time I make it and if you do, let me know how you like it.
I adapted this recipe slightly from Sally’s Baking Addiction: my go-to for trusted recipes. She often has freezing directions or tips – so crucial for making a full batch or future meal prep planning in a small batch house, especially with a little one on the way.
I have a habit of getting rather excited when fruit comes back into season and want to buy a ton of it locally and then incorporate it into a multitude of recipes, creating “insert in-season fruit” week and strawberries are the perfect way to kick that off. There are so many local farms with fresh strawberries available for purchase that have been picked that day or it’s always fun to pick them off the vine yourself – especially when you get to eat a few right there amongst all the plants. There is nothing like eating fresh strawberries off the vine or recently picked. They have an intoxicating smell and are so sweet, it’s as if you had never before tasted a real strawberry.
I wanted to incorporate these delectable red gems into breakfast somehow and trading the blueberries for strawberries in this recipe seemed like a no-brainer. I chopped them up so I could get more in every bite and the original called for only half a cup, which did not seem nearly enough so I doubled it. I was also making a half-batch in a smaller pan so layering the bread and strawberries seemed like the best idea to get a good bread to fruit ratio.
This recipe is easy to assemble and soo delicious, you will find yourself going back for a snack and then again for dessert. It hits all the notes with a slight tang from the sourdough bread, sweet freshness of the strawberries, and added texture from the streusel topping that makes everyone quiet while eating it except for the “mmm” and “yums” all around.
Sourdough Strawberry French Toast CasseroleCourse: BreakfastDifficulty: Easy
½ loaf (6-8 oz) sourdough bread
1 heaping cup chopped strawberries (~11 strawberries)
4 large eggs
1 ⅛ cups (270ml) milk
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅜ cup (75g) packed light brown sugar
½ Tablespoon vanilla extract
- Streusel Topping
⅙ cup (~35g) packed light brown sugar
⅙ cup (21g) all-purpose flour, spoon and leveled
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- Grease an 8 inch baking pan with non-stick spray or butter. Slice bread then cut into cubes, about 1 inch in size. Spread a layer of cubes into the prepared baking pan followed by a layer of the chopped strawberries. Repeat layering with the remaining bread cubes and finish the top with the rest of the strawberries. Set aside.
- Whisk the eggs, milk, cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Pour over the bread. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least 3 hours – overnight; overnight is optimal.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the pan from the fridge.
- Make streusel topping: Whisk the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Cut in the cubed butter with a pastry blender or two forks. Sprinkle the topping over the soaked bread.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve immediately. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the fridge for 2-3 days.
- Sprinkle chopped almond or pecans on the top after adding the streusel topping
- Swap strawberries for other fruit such as peaches, blueberries, bananas, apples, or a mixture
- Could use other day-old, crusty bread such as challah or french bread
- Top with extra fruit, confectioners’ sugar, or maple syrup (although it is great by itself!)
- Full batch: use a 9×13 inch baking pan, do a single layer of bread, top evenly with fruit, and bake for 45-55 minutes
- Freezing notes: Prep through step 4 (without preheating the oven) and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge then bake as directed. Baked casserole can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and heat in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 35 minutes or until warm in the center.
- Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
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