When I was in high school my brother Josh had the early bus to junior high therefore there were two of us up. Quite often one of us would make a coffee cake recipe off the back of the Bisquick box the night before and then pop it in the oven first thing in the morning. There we would sit eating hot coffee cake together before we headed out the door to conquer the world. Those were lovely mornings. Maybe it was having company, and being able to eat more than Slim Fast for breakfast that made it so wonderful.
So this morning I treated my two older children to this morning delight. At 4:45 am I popped it into the oven on my way out the door to go meet my early morning friends for our Weds. morning run. When I got home an hour later I was hit with a blast of cinnamon loveliness that made me smile. James already had a huge slice covered in Buttermilk Syrup half way eaten. He's off for an early morning as well. I need to do this more often. It's so easy, and makes for some happy family members. Breakfast is technically called Baked French Toast, but in honor of my breakfast eating buddy years ago I'm naming it Joshy Bake. Thank Josh for fixing me breakfast on numerous occasions. It made those dark hours of the morning cheerful. Love your guts!!
Recipe from The Pioneer Woman and slightly adapted by me
1 loaf Crusty Sourdough Or French Bread (Don't use Great Harvest for this. I love to use the French Bread from the grocery store that's a dollar. Perfect!)
8 whole Eggs
2 cups Whole Milk
½ cups Whipping (heavy) Cream
¾ cups Sugar
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
½ cups All-purpose Flour
½ cups Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoons Salt
1 stick Cold Butter, Cut Into Pieces
Fresh Fruit (optional, but I'm totally going to add frozen blackberries the next time I make this!)
Grease 9 x 13-inch baking pan with butter. Tear bread into chunks (or cut into cubes) and evenly distribute in the pan.
Mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Pour evenly over bread. Cover tightly and store in the fridge several hours or overnight.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add nutmeg if desired. Add butter pieces and but into the dry mixture until mixture resembles fine pebbles. Store in a Ziploc in the fridge.
When you’re ready to bake the casserole, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove casserole from fridge and sprinkle crumb mixture over the top. (If you’re using fruit, sprinkle on before the crumb mixture.) Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture. Bake 1 hour or more for a firmer, less liquid texture. (I baked it 1 hour and 15 mins.)
Scoop out individual portions. Top with butter and drizzle with maple syrup. (Better yet, Buttermilk Syrup!) You could totally serve this as dessert as well. Just add some vanilla ice cream and your set to go. )
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. corn syrup
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 t. baking soda
Bring to a boil. Make in a big pot because it foams up a ton. Boil for about 5 mins until a thick caramel color. Take off heat and add 1/2 t. vanilla. This is to die for. Serve with anything. It is fabulous over fresh fruit, pound cake and peaches, or anything that needs a little sauciness.