Poppy Seed Baked French Toast Casserole
French Toast Casserole is made with Poppy Seed Breakfast Pastries that turn into the most amazing Bread Pudding Bake with the addition of milk, eggs, condensed milk and some chocolate. This is your ultimate breakfast dream, come true!
If you’ve ever had a really good French Toast, multiply that experience by about 10 and you’ll get an idea of how good this breakfast dish is. Some might call it “bread pudding”, but to me “bread pudding” is something you might find in an old cook book that people used to make, but don’t anymore and this Poppy Seed & Chocolate Bake, is nothing like that.
Being able to make prep the night before makes it the least hands on (in the morning) breakfast ever. I mean seriously, all you have to do is get it out of the fridge, put it in the oven and let the oven do it’s thing. 45-50 minutes later you will get this custardy goodness and make everyone think you’re a magician.
Like with all my other recipe on this blog, I have been meaning to make bread pudding for the longest time ever. The plan was to bake some white chocolate & cranberry bread or challa, let it dry out and then use it to make bread pudding.
While on our winter getaway this past week, I wanted to bring that idea to life, but we had so much food bought already that there was no way I was going to add any more. The night before the last night we spent at the cabin, I started going through shelves, seeing what else we need to eat before we leave and came across two poppy seed rolls that were going stale.
I knew that no one would eat them as is, so trash can was most likely its destination if nothing was done.
This was the perfect chance to act. I sliced the rolls, placed them on a baking sheet and dried them at 190F for about 2 hours, driving people at the cabin crazy with the aroma in the meantime.
Everyone kept asking why I am drying poppy seed rolls, but I didn’t really want to tell anyone because I wasn’t really sure how the whole thing would come together, given that I’ve never done this exact thing before. Once everyone was off to bed, I buttered by ceramic dish , then in a large bowl I cracked a couple of eggs, egg yolks, stirred in a lonely can of sweetened condensed milk that I found in the cupboard (us Slavics, we love us some sweetened condensed milk in everything) , added cream, milk, vanilla extract and whisked everything to combine. Next on the list was giving my dried bread cubes a good thorough bath in the custard. I tossed them with spatula, pressing occasionally which allowed the bread to soak in the goodness. My last step was pouring everything back into the prepared dish, sprinkling it with chocolate, covering the dish with foil and sending it for a cold night in the fridge. Might sound like a lot of steps, but in reality it’s all done in about 10, 15 minutes at the most.
Next morning before doing anything else, I put the dish in the oven and set my timer. By the time I got morning grooming and other things done, Poppy Seed & White Chocolate Bread Pudding was all done! You should’ve seen the surprise on everyone’s face when they tried it! Not having any idea what I was doing the day before, it was a pretty pleasant and delicious surprise indeed! I might be biased, but I think this should be YOUR Christmas Breakfast this year!
Christmas Morning Bake w/ Poppy Seed & Chocolate
- 8 cups Poppy Seed rolls / Challah / French Bread cubed, dried
- 6 eggs
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4-1/2 cups sugar depends on how sweet the pastry is
- 2.5 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups milk whole
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1.5 cups chocolate chips of choice white/milk/dark
- Butter for buttering the baking dish
- To dry bread, cube it first, then dry in 190-200F oven, until dry.
- Butter the inside of the baking dish. Set aside.
- Whisk eggs, sweetened condensed milk and sugar together until smooth.
- Add cream, milk & vanilla extract and whisk until combined.
- Add cubed bread into the custard and pressing with the spatula toss everything together.
- Pour the cubed bread and custard back into the dish and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
- Cover with foil and refrigerate until ready to bake.
To bake: preheat oven to 330F. Place the covered baking dish in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the custard in the middle of the dish is no longer runny, but thickened.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool until just warm. Serve right away, with a sprinkling of sugar.
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