Finally getting to add this recipe way past when I originally planned. If you are a fan on the Milk Free Kids facebook page, then I'm sure you've seen the photos of this scrumptious French toast casserole.
It was crunchy on top, and ooey-gooey in the middle. My family described it as a cross between regular French toast and bread pudding. This is definitely a meal for a group. There were 8 of us here and we all had two servings and there was still ½ a pan left over.
It was relatively easy to make. I looked at a ton of recipes and then decided to just wing it. Almond milk is the milk replacement of choice because it's nice and thick. If you can't use almond milk, then a few cans of coconut milk (the thick kind from the international foods section) would be a great choice too.
Here's my recipe, you need to do this over night. Even start in the morning of the day before if you plan to dry out the bread.
1 loaf of milk free Texas Toast bread or an unsliced Italian loaf (all the Italian ones I've found are milk free)
Vanilla Almond Milk, or plain Almond Milk and Vanilla
¼ C Cinnamon
¼ C Dark Brown Sugar
½ C Chopped Pecans
½ C Dark Brown Sugar
4 tablespoons of milk free margarine, we used Earth Balance
Cube up the bread into 1" or so cubes. Let sit out for a few hours to dry if you'd like (if you are doing this the morning before). I do recommend this as it will help the bread absorb the mixture, but it's not detrimental. Lay it out in a 13x9x2" greased pan.
In a large bowl, scramble 8 eggs. Add 2 cups vanilla almond milk, (or plain almond milk and a tablespoon of vanilla), ¼ cup cinnamon, and ¼ cup dark brown sugar. (do this step and the next in the evening, before bed)
Pour egg mixture over bread cubes and make sure they are well coated. I recommend lifting up the top layers a little, pouring onto the bottom, replacing the top and pouring onto the top. Once the egg mixture is in, you don't want to try to move the bread or mix it, or else it will fall apart.
Cover and place in the fridge over night. I suppose 4 hours would be enough, but you can definitely let it soak for 12-16 hours.
Right before cooking, pre-heat oven to 350. Mix ½ cup chopped pecans, ½ cup or so of dark brown sugar, tablespoon of cinnamon, a dribble of real maple syrup, and 4-6 tablespoons of margarine. Use your fingers to really mash it together, then crumble it over the top of the casserole.
Bake for about 40 minutes (cover for first 20 minutes with tin foil). Make sure internal temp is 165 or greater, or check doneness by cutting into the center and looking at the bread.
Serve warm with maple syrup and bacon. Lots of bacon!!