Berry season is in full swing and it’s the weekend, so why not love on yourself (or the whole family) with this fully loaded french toast?
Better yet, let’s make it casserole-style in our Dutch ovens to save some time. Sound good?
You guessed it. This is another sneak peak into my new cookbook: Easy Dutch Oven Cooking! I’m so excited for you to taste the orange zest in this recipe. It totally compliments the fresh berry flavor.
As you can imagine, I created this Dutch oven recipe for convenience in mind (and thoroughly enjoyed the leftovers throughout the week).
Fresh or frozen berries?
Feel free to use your favorite fresh or frozen berries in this Dutch oven casserole; I like a blend.
Which bread is best for french toast casserole?
Since this is a casserole, you really want a light bread that will soak up all the eggs and give you a scoop-able french toast. You can use french bread, but I highly recommend either store-bought challah or my famous challah recipe. If you’re a regular reader, you already know that I’m a huge fan of using challah for french toast.
Here’s an excerpt from my book about the brandy:
Variation Tip: The small amount of alcohol plays a supporting role. If you want to taste more of the brandy, increase the amount to 3 tablespoons, or try 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract in place of the brandy.Easy Dutch Oven Cooking
Tips for Making French Toast Casserole in a Dutch Oven
- Even if your Dutch oven is enameled, the enamel surface is not non-stick, which is why I recommend coating generously with butter.
- When serving, it’s important to use a spoon or spatula that won’t scratch the enamel, such as wood or silicone.
- You can either slice the bread, as I have done, or you can cut it into large cubes. Either way, you want the liquid and berries to get in between all the bread layers.
- I like half-and-half for richness, but you could also use a combination of whole milk and heavy cream with the same results.
- I like to use day old bread because it acts more like a sponge and sops up the flavors well, but you could use fresh bread in a pinch.
I love using a mesh strainer to dust powdered sugar over the surface just before serving. I also like to set a warm container of maple syrup and softened butter at the table so people can make their breakfast as rich and sweet as they like.
In terms of sides, a salty protein would help round out the meal. You could serve some bacon or turkey sausage on the side or you could roast some almonds and sprinkle them on top for a little added crunch.
More Breakfast Recipes
- Mini Breakfast Pizza Bagels
- Challah French Toast with Maple Whipped Cream (OMG-make this whipped cream and add to this casserole!)
- Quinoa Protein Breakfast Bowls
If you make this in your Dutch oven, I’d love to see it! Tag me @thefrayedapron on Instagram.
Brandy Berry French Toast Casserole
- Unsalted butter for preparing the Dutch oven
- 1 1-pound day-old loaf challah bread sliced
- 4 large eggs
- 1 3/4 cups half-and-half
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup plus more for serving (optional)
- 1 tbsp brandy
- 1 tsp grated orange zest
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups frozen mixed berries
- Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously coat the inside of a Dutch oven with butter.
- Assemble and bake the casserole. Arrange the bread slices in the Dutch oven, overlapping them. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, half-and-half, maple syrup, brandy, orange zest, and salt to combine. Add the berries. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, making sure to get the liquid between the slices. Cover the pot and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for 10 minutes more. Serve with maple syrup (if using). Refrigerate leftovers for up to 4 days.
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Advice! It was pretty soggy on the bottom parts of the bread . Is that normal or what can I do to help with that?
If the casserole came out soggy, you might want to increase the amount of bread. You can sometimes cook longer and get the right texture, too. Did you happen to measure the bread?