A baked french toast with plenty of crunchy brown bits that is soft and custardy on the inside (not soggy!). Made with baguettes (french stick), it fans out like hasselback potatoes, creating perfect crevices to pour the maple syrup into!
“When you serve this, it fans out like “hasselback potatoes”, making perfect crevices to pour maple syrup into.”
I know the name of this recipe is a bit odd but I truly can’t think of a better way to describe it. This french toast bake is made using baguette (french stick bread) which is sliced almost all the way through then soaked with an egg mixture. It’s quite different to the usual method which involves cubes of bread or layering slices of bread in a baking dish.
The end result is also quite different because there is a higher crunch factor than usual french toast bakes which, after you get through the top layer, are soft and custardy underneath. Whereas with this Hasselback Baked French Toast, there are more ridges and surface area so you get more of the gorgeous crunchy bits (which, let’s face it, are the best bits of any dish!).
The thing that “seals the deal” for me is that when you serve it out, it fans out like hasselback potatoes (hence the name!). So when you pour maple syrup over it, it gets right into all the crevices so every bit is a perfect balance of sweet, buttery, custardy goodness coated with maple syrup and with plenty of crunchy brown bits.
“This french toast bake has a higher crunch factor than the usual because it’s not made with layers of bread soaked with egg mixture.”
The beauty of this dish is that you can make it for 4 or 12 people with little extra effort! Just multiply the recipe and use a larger baking dish. The baking time does not increase substantially because this bake is not as “soaked through” as with other french toast bakes. The bread itself is very custardy, but it is not sitting in a pool of egg mixture (does that make sense??).
The brown crunchy bits are always the best – and this french toast has plenty of it! 🙂 – Nagi
Hasselback Baked French Toast
- 1 baguette / french stick , 60 cm / 2 feet long (Note 1)
- 5 eggs
- 1 1/3 cup milk (preferably whole fat but low fat works just fine)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or essence (optional)
Toppings (not optional!)
- Icing sugar (confectionary sugar)
- Maple syrup
- Cut the french stick loaf into 3 equal pieces.
- Cut slices into each piece around 1.5cm / 0.5" thick almost through to the base (like hasselback potatoes / classic garlic bread).
- Place the Egg Mixture into a bowl and whisk to combine.
- Place the Egg Mixture and bread into a ziplock bag or plastic bag. Remove as much air as you can and seal. Set aside for at least 1 hour (or overnight), turning once or twice, or until most of the Egg Mixture has been soaked up by the bread. (Note 1)
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
- Place the bread into a baking dish (22 x 22 cm / 8 x 8"), cut side up.
- Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Place the Butter Mixture into a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until melted and combined, stirring occasionally. You could do this in the microwave too - around 2 x 30 second bursts, stirring in between.
- Remove the french toast from the oven. Pour the butter mixture over the french toast and return to oven. Bake for a further 5 to 10 minutes or until golden and crispy on top.
- Remove from oven and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Sift over icing sugar (confectioners sugar) and serve with maple syrup.