Why this recipe works:
Making French toast can be easy, but if you’re trying to make it for more than four people, someone is guaranteed to get cold, soggy French toast. We fixed that by translating the concept of French toast into a casserole. We layered potato bread (which held up better than regular sandwich bread) with a gooey brown sugar–cinnamon mixture and butter and then poured a creamy custard over the top. We finished by sprinkling the casserole with sliced almonds. The result? A 13 by 9-inch dish filled with layers of tender, sweet French toast—ready all at once.
NOTE: We developed this recipe using Martin’s Potato Bread, which has 16 slices per loaf, so you’ll need to buy two loaves. With other brands, it may also be necessary to trim the slices to fit six in a single layer.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened, plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup packed (5 1/4 ounces) brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
18 slices potato sandwich bread
2 1/2 cups whole milk
6 large eggs
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13 by 9-inch baking dish with softened butter. Mix brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together in bowl.
2. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons brown sugar mixture evenly over bottom of prepared dish. Place 6 bread slices (use bread heels here) in even layer in bottom of dish. Brush bread with 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar mixture.
3. Place 6 bread slices in single layer over first layer, brush with 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter, then sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar mixture. Place remaining 6 bread slices over previous layer and brush with 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter.
4. In separate bowl, whisk milk and eggs together until well combined. Pour milk mixture over bread and press lightly to submerge. Sprinkle with almonds and remaining heaping 3 tablespoons sugar mixture.
5. Bake until casserole is slightly puffed and golden brown and bubbling around edges, about 30 minutes. Transfer casserole to wire rack, brush with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter, and let cool for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve.
TO MAKE AHEAD: The assembled casserole, minus almonds and remaining heaping 3 tablespoons sugar mixture, can be covered and refrigerated for up to 12 hours. When ready to cook, sprinkle with almonds and sugar mixture and bake as directed in step 5.