This ultimate breakfast, or “brinner,” casserole is proof that Italian bread is not just for wedges and dunking in red sauce. It’s assembled the evening before — the overnight soak has the ingredients getting cozy in a beautiful way. Comforting and warm, it’ll bring smiles all around the table on a winter morning.
2⁄3 cup orange juice (no pulp)
1⁄3 cup milk
¼ cup sugar
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 loaf Italian bread, cut in 1” slices
½ cup butter, melted
½–¾ cup pecans, roughly chopped (macadamia nuts also work)
¾ cup blueberries
In a medium bowl, whisk together the first six ingredients. Arrange bread in a single layer in a 10” x 13” baking dish (you want a tight fit, but don’t overlap slices).
Pour egg and milk mixture over bread. Cover with plastic wrap
and soak overnight in refrigerator, turning once.
Preheat oven to 400° F. Pour melted butter over soaked bread slices. Sprinkle with pecans and blueberries.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Pro tip: Provide a Variety of Toppings
Serve the French toast bake with maple syrup, honey, and powdered sugar, as well as extra bowls of blueberries and pecans (or other nuts and fruits), to add a juicy pop and extra crunch.