Overnight French Toast Bake

french toast

When people ask me about the things I miss from my passport country, or what I look forward to the most upon reentry, my answer almost always has something to do with food. Whether it’s a specific dish I can’t quite find here (enchiladas), or ingredients that are super expensive or nonexistent (asparagus), or just a lack of quality options (beer), what I’m eating and drinking has a large bearing on my mental state.

When I sat down to think about what I want to share on The Rwanda Influence in 2019, so much of my ideas came down to food- again. But instead of highlighting things I miss, I want to be intentional about sharing great recipes and ingredient finds that make Rwanda feel like home.

My aim: to share delicious recipes that can be made with ingredients you can procure locally- and not blow your grocery budget. Yes, I could buy asparagus, but it’s not a practical way to meet my family’s produce needs- and I bet it isn’t for yours, either.

Today’s recipe is one of my family’s new favorites- I adapted it for cooking in Rwanda from Joanna Gaines’ cookbook, Magnolia Table. It’s like having dessert for breakfast, and is so warm and comforting it just might melt your sad feelings away 🙂 perfect for when you have guests, are entertaining, or just want to have a special family breakfast!

1 loaf of white bread (we used the Large Loaf from The Women’s Bakery, but any will do)
10 Eggs
3 cups milk
1 cup granulated sugar
2t vanilla flavoring or extract, either is fine
1 cup brown sugar (available recently at Samba Supermarket, Kibagabaga but you can sub regular sugar)
1/2 cup butter (it’s worth it, promise)
pinch or two of salt
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts, 1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit

Layer bread slices into a large baking pan. You’ll have leftover bread- yay!
Whisk together eggs, milk, granulated sugar, and vanilla.
Pour mixture over bread slices, press down on slices to saturate.
Cover and refrigerate.

Pull out dish and let stand at room temp for 30 min.
Preheat oven to 375F if you can, or just turn it on if that’s what you have 🙂

Grate butter into brown/granulated sugar and mix together with hands until a crumble forms. Add in pinch of salt, and dried fruit if using.

Spread crumble over the top of your dish, spreading evenly and pressing down to form a crust.
Top with chopped nuts, if using.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the bread has risen and the top is browned.

Serve immediately with a drizzle of honey (Beeutiful Creations is our favorite) or maple syrup if you have it, and a dollop of whipped cream (available at MTN!)

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