Overnight French Toast
4 to 8 servings
About 8 hours, largely unattended
Extravagant and creamy with crisped-up, chewy bits on the top. It’s a great one to make ahead for the holidays or any other time you have houseguests. Use any bread you’d use for ordinary French toast. Challah and brioche are my favorites.
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, melted and cooled, plus some softened butter for greasing
8–10 slices bread
1 2/3 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 13 × 9-inch baking dish and pack in the bread slices, squeezing them together if necessary. Beat the eggs in a large bowl, then add the milk, vanilla, salt, and melted butter. Pour the custard over the bread, pressing down on the bread to submerge it in the custard as much as possible. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
2. To bake, heat the oven to 425°F. While it heats, let the French toast come to room temperature. Sprinkle the bread with the sugar, then bake until the center
is barely set and the top is golden and caramelized,
20 to 30 minutes.