Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Baked French Toast

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bacon egg and cheese baked french toast
Photo: Johnny Miller
Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
6 hrs 15 mins
Yield:
8 to 12 Serves

Is this the ultimate brunch centerpiece? We think so! It's a flavor cross of the world's best breakfast sandwich and a classic egg-and-cheese strata—and you can prep it up to a day in advance. Next morning, slide the whole shebang into the oven and watch it puff up dramatically into a sliceable feast.

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf sandwich bread (about 1 pound), cut into 10-to-12 slices (¾-inch-thick)

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (or left whole, if small)

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more (or softened unsalted butter) for baking sheet

  • Kosher salt (we use Diamond Crystal) and freshly ground pepper

  • 6 strips thick-cut bacon (6 ounces total)

  • 8 large eggs

  • 1 ⅔ cups whole or 2 percent milk

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

  • 3 ounces sharp cheddar, grated (¾ cup)

Directions

  1. Spread bread on a rimmed baking sheet and let dry out, 4 to 6 hours. Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss tomatoes with oil; season with salt and pepper. Spread on one side of a parchment-lined 12 1/2-by-9 1/2-inch rimmed baking sheet (quarter sheet pan). On other side, arrange bacon in as close to a single layer as possible (it's okay if slices overlap slightly).

  2. Roast until tomatoes are wrinkled and beginning to soften and bacon is about three-quarters cooked, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven; transfer tomatoes and bacon to a plate. Discard fat and remove parchment. Wash sheet, then brush with oil or butter.

  3. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Dip bread slices one at a time in egg mixture, turning to coat, then arrange on sheet in shingled, overlapping layers (we arranged ours in three rows of four).

  4. Pour remaining egg mixture evenly over top (it will pool on top and sink through to bottom, but will be absorbed as it sits). Sprinkle with parsley and cheese, then top with bacon and tomatoes. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

  5. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake French toast, uncovered, 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350° and continue baking until puffed and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes more. Let cool slightly before serving.

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